Compost is basically organic matter used as fertiliser for growing plants. Decaying organic matter.
Yes, it might sound gross, but it's easy to do, easily hidden from sight and low maintance. Best part of all, it's free! Basically it's just putting an extra dustbin in your home and instead of tossing the stuff down the rubbish chute, you can use it on your plants and eventually start growing your own food! (Say goodbye to long queues at NTUC)
(Image: Blundell Blossoms)
HOW IT CAN HELP YOU SAVE MONEY
- Use it to replace your fertiliser – Apply a 5cm-thick layer over the soil and around the plant stems. Replenish the nutrients of the soil for potted plants by removing the top fcm of soil and replacing it wiht compost.
- Use it to replace your soil – When potting a new plant, mix two parts of potting soil to one part of compost.
Here's how to make your very own mineral and nutrient rich compost:
YOU WILL NEED
- A bin – Look for a bin with a lid, a small garbage bin or rectangular storage bin works great. Make sure it is black or opague, you don't want to see a box of mulch lying around do you?
- A small pole – You need something to stir your compost with.
- Organic material: A good compost is made of brown and green components as well as enhancers.
Here's what your compost should be made up of. Remember to cut them up into small pieces, and avoid picking cooked food. This will attract pets and make your compost smell.
(Image: Fertile Fibre)
- Three parts brown – Newspapers, cardboard, paper plates, cups, dry leaves, corn husks. These add carbs that will provide energy and fuel.
- Two parts green – Vegetables and fruit peelings, green leaves and plants – these provide nitrogent and nutrients.
- One part enhancers – Egg shells, coffee grains, bones that have been cleaned, dried and ground – these are te supplemnts for your compost, providing nutrients and minerals.
- Drill holes on the lid of your bin. Air flow is important for healthy compost.
- Start layering the different parts of your compost mix on top of each other. Alternate between the brown and green layers and fill your bin halfway. The green layers should be twice as thick as your brown layers.
- Sprinkle your enhancers and add water, as if you are watering a plant.
- Fill the remainder of the bin, alternating between wet and dry layers. Give it another splash of water.
- Seal the lid!
- Once a week, check on your compost and give it a stir or troubleshoot if necessary. (check below for problems that might occur)
- After 12 weeks, your compost will be ready to use and should look like dark soil and smell of clean earth.
PROBLEMS THAT MIGHT OCCUR DURING THE PROCESS
- Your compost looks wet and mould has started growing.
SOLUTION: Add in more brown materials and give it a good stir.
- Your compost looks dry.
SOLUTION: Avoid adding more water, instead add more green materials and give it a good stir.
DID YOU KNOW: Singapore throws away 796,000 tonnes of food annually. Food production and supply burdens our environment. By reducing your waste you are reducing this impact!