Plant Life Balance

A quick’n’dirty guide to compost

Having a good compost routine will become the lifeblood of your garden.

When food scraps and garden waste decompose, they become compost which will add nutrients to your soil. Removing food scraps from your household waste keeps them out of landfill where they can produce excessive methane and pollute underground waterways. Another benefit is that It’s likely you won’t have to take your rubbish out as often, and it probably won’t smell as bad either!

The good news is you don’t need a lot of space to compost, and there’s plenty of options to choose from depending on your living arrangements and lifestyle.

Before you begin

Assess which option is most realistic for you and your household. Do you have access to a balcony or garden? How much time do you have to manage your compost? Are their support services or community groups in your local area?

You’ll also need a small container to keep in the kitchen where you can toss your scraps while you’re cooking. A takeaway container or ice cream tub will do nicely.

Worm farms

Worm farms are a great option for apartments with a shady balcony or terrace area. They consist of a multi-tiered box where worms eat and digest your organic food scraps, including egg shells and coffee grounds. This environment needs to be kept warm and moist , and include a balance of carbon-rich materials such as shredded newspaper. Once the whole process is in full swing, your worms will produce a rich worm juice which is terrific liquid fertiliser for all your plants – just dilute it with water about 10-1.

Note! Worms don’t like citrus (oranges, lemons, etc), pineapple, onion,garlic, meat or dairy – so keep these things out. Turn your worm farm over every now and again to get some oxygen in there.

For further info on maintaining a worm farm, Compost Revolution has some great online trainings, hints and tips.

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There’s no “pretty” way to say “I’ve got a worm farm”. But yes, I have a worm farm! And have done for almost half a year in my tiny little apartment. I absolutely adore my little worms! Contrary to the questions I get asked, they definitely don’t smell, and are such great little helpers! Almost all of my food scraps can go into the worm farm, and now I have the wonderful fun of harvesting some castings to feed to my plants! I can’t imagine life without them now! ??? *Update – I’ve had so many questions about my worm I’ve written a blog about my experiences. I’m hoping to write more in the future, so check it out and let me know if there’s anything you want to see! . . . #wormfarm #sustainableliving #apartmentliving #zerowaste #smallspaces #sustainableapartment #greenfuture #brisbanelife #urbansustainability #foodwaste #smallspaceliving #composting #urbangardening #ecofriendly #environmentallyfriendly #wormfarming #apartmentcomposting

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Compost bins

You can make a compost bin out of just about anything – you can create a contained pile at the back of the garden, or (recommended) invest in an optimised, designed version from your local garden centre or nursery. This composting option is best for people with bigger families and gardens. Try to add a good mixture of food waste, garden waste and leaves, and make sure you dig them over every now and again, keep them moist and in a warm position. Watering twice a week is ideal. Once again, avoid adding citrus, meat and diary as it will attract vermin.

Council support

Lots of councils around Australia run incentive programs and discounts to get worm farms and compost bins into local homes. It’s often easy to sign-up online and have your worm farm kit or other resources and equipment sent directly to your home. We recommend getting in touch with your local council to find out what support services they offer in your area.

Check if your council is offering a discount on worm farms or composts through Compost Revolution.

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C O M P O S T I N G . . Is a great way to reduce waste and create free rich food that your garden absolutely needs. . I have always wanted to attend a composting workshop or even read it up online but just couldn't make out the time. Visited the @aklcouncil website yesterday and somehow stumbled on lists of FREE workshops being carried out across different neighborhoods by @thecompostcollective .I quickly scrolled down to mine and booyah!!! Happening tomorrow in a time that's very convenient for me! I couldn't be happier right now..that's not all. At the end of the workshop, all attendees are going to be gifted a discount coupon valued at $40 to purchase composting materials! How good is that!!!!?? . So well, your girl's gonna begin composting all compostables in the coming weeks. Winning!!!! Thank you, thank you @thecompostcollective

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Share the love

Don’t have the space or time to maintain a worm farm or compost bin? All good – you can still donate your organic waste towards someone else’s compost heap or a shared community garden. Share Waste is a great platform for facilitating this donation – you can also try searching for local crop swaps or community gardens on social media or online.

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