Here in Ribchester we have quite a community of gardeners with a wide range of expertise, and some of them have very kindly offered to share their experiences with us. This week we have an interesting insight into making your own compost, written by local gardener and allotment holder Julie Cunliffe. If you feel inspired why not take a look at our excellent range of compost bins.
“In my experience children are usually fascinated by the mini beasts to be found in the garden, particularly the earth worms. Throughtout the generations their beneficial effects in the soil have been acknowledged and for a year or two now, we have been learning about the value of composting in converting organic waste from the kitchen and garden into a rich, dark growing media and liquid feed.”
“Worms benefit from a wide and varied diet, which can include cooked food scraps, vegetable peelings, shredded and scrunched paper and cardboard, tea leaves and coffee grounds, vacuum cleaner dust and hair, bread, pasta and rice, wool and cotton and dried and crushed egg shells (these help the worms digestion!). As our local school pursues its ECO awards they too have been learning all about composting worms.”
“The compost produced is very rich in nutrients and organic matter and can be used as an excellent medium for growing plants. It is rich in soluble plant foods and its fine and crumbly texture will greatly improve soil structure. It can be used in all situations where compost is normally used, for example when planting seeds and shrubs; or as a top dressing for fast growing plants.”
“The micro-organisms present in worm compost are also useful in maintaining soil structure. Used as a mulch around the plants base, it will both feed the plant and retain moisture for the roots. When planting out seedlings, sprinkle a little along the bottom of the trench to give them the best start in life.”
“House plants in pots eventually use up the supply of fertilisers in their compost. A top dressing with worm compost is an ideal way to replenishg the nutrients.
And when making compost, not only are you helping yourself, you will of course also be helping the environment by reducing the volume of organic waste being added to the nations landfill sites. Organic waste in such tips is simply left to rot away, releasing methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere as it does so.
Setting up a composting system does involve an initial outlay but ours has proved to be low maintenance and very productive.”