Jul 25th, 2012 11:07 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Stephan Meyer, ONE’s expert gardener who is responsible for setting up the box garden in the Big Brother Africa house, continues his series of gardening tips.
In the previous post “Organic Box Gardening” we discussed organic gardening and what it actually means. We mentioned that an important step in successful organic gardening is “feeding your soil”.
The ONE garden in the Big Brother house
This week we will teach you how to make your own compost pile from scratch. You don’t have to be a professional gardener to do this, all you need is perseverance. The more effort you put in, the faster you see results.
A lot of professionals will tell you that you need brown composting matter for Carbon and green composting matter for Nitrogen. They will also say that the composition ratio between brown and green should be 30:1. You might ask yourself, “does that mean I need to cut down a tree to make compost?” The answer is simply no.
Brown composting materials are woody materials that are high in carbon, such as; peat, moss, sawdust hay and straw. While green composting materials are high in nitrogen, such as; garden refuse, food scraps, and manure.
The most readily available of both green and brown matter is grass clippings. By layering grass clipping you can make your own compost within 2 to 4 weeks. Easy enough isn’t it?
Advantages of express composting are:
Like anything, there will be disadvantages. The disadvantage here is that a lot of time and effort is needed because the heap of matter takes a year to decompose.
Plants in the ONE garden
How to make “Express compost”
Any material can be used for making compost, but but some items are best avoided. For example meat, dairy and cooked foods can attract unwanted pests, viruses and disease.
Greens or Nitrogen rich materials
Browns or Carbon rich materials
Building your pile
Maintaining your pile
Maintenance of your pile is simple but requires work.
Your compost is ready for use when it has a dark brown colour with a sweet earthy smell and most of the raw materials aren’t recognisable
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