We all have a responsibility to reduce our waste. Compost bins and worm farms are a great way for you to avoid sending food scraps and garden waste to landfill, because you’ll be producing environmentally friendly, natural fertiliser that your garden or pot plants will love.
Compost Bin or Worm Farm?
Choosing between a compost bin or worm farm might simply depend on the type of garden you have.
- The ideal location for a compost bin is somewhere with sun, earth contact, good drainage and some shade in summer.
- A worm farm needs good shade and is suitable for courtyards, balconies and small gardens.
You can compost a mix of materials, including fruit and vegetable scraps, green garden waste, coffee grounds, egg shells, old potting mix, dead flowers, human and animal hair. Add dry leaves, woody twigs, paper, straw and some water. You cannot compost pet faeces, meat, fish, dairy products, oil or chemicals.
Tips to Build the Perfect Compost in 8 Weeks
- Start with a 15-centimetre layer of twigs or coarse mulch for drainage
- Add a thin layer of kitchen and green organics
- Cover with layer of brown garden organics, ensuring no food waste is exposed
- Moisten well
- Sprinkle soil or finished compost on top of food scraps for richness and less odour.
- Turn with garden fork or compost aerator to add air each week.
What you can do with Compost
- Mulch around your trees with compost to encourage healthy plant growth, but not too close to the trunk
- Apply twice a year to native plants
- Use sifted compost as a top dressing for lawns, potting mix and seed raising mix
- Use woody leftovers for mulch or compost them again
Worms enjoy vegetable and fruit peel, juicer pulp, tea bags, and small amounts of paper and cardboard like shredded egg cartons. Smaller scraps are easier and quicker to digest. Worms don’t like acidic foods like citrus peel or onions.
You can use the valuable worm castings as natural fertiliser in your garden. The liquid that your worm farm produces is rich nutrients. It’s powerful stuff, so dilute it before you use it on your pot plants.
Want to learn more? $90 voucher to get you started!
Come along to a composting or worm farm workshop at the Coastal Environment Centre or Kimbriki Eco House and Garden Education Centre. Learn more about ecological gardening and receive a $90 voucher to put towards purchasing a worm farm or compost bin.