Fast and easy compost

Composting is achievable for anyone. Whether you have your own home, rent like i do, or living in an apartment. I have always composted in some way. In this house i have had a worm farm which has some happy little wiggles and takes all of our food scraps. However i had a gap in this system of alot of material going to recycling. Not that this is a bad thing but with Australia struggling to cope with our recycling loads I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and take care of as much material at home as i could. Having only a small courtyard i needed something that i could easily rotate and take with me when i move. For these reasons i went with the Maze 160L roto twin compost tumbler from Bunnings. It came in as the cheapest at $110 and has two chambers so you can have one lot composting down while you are still adding too the other side. This system is also great as its high enough that you can turn it and tip it straight into a bucket or wheel barrow.

Bokashi Composting

Bokashi composting is a bin system that came from Japan. There are a few benefits, firstly it fits under your sink and doesn't smell. Second, its a super fast method, just add anything to the bin, yes even meat, squash it down and add the special spray or mixture to start the composting process. Leave it for two weeks and then you can bury it in the garden, bones and all! Its instant compost. Most bins also have a tap at the base. These systems make a super rich liquid that can be diluted and added to the garden much like worm wee. Make sure you dilute it alot though as its very potent (my bin leaked once and ate a hole in my balcony cement!).

How do you speed up your compost?

There are a few things that go into any good compost no matter which system you use and in order to make this process as fast and effective you need to follow the recipe.

Food scraps are the best source of fermentation which heats the compost and also provides moisture. You also need brown matter, this can be dried leaves, paper, cardboard etc. Then the third ingredient is the green matter which is fresh grass clippings, these release moisture and help the mixture heat up. Once all of these are in your delicious compost you need to add two things. Heat, this can be sun or heat from the barrel itself, which is why most are black, and you will need air. This is where the tumbler comes in to play. Turning your compost allows it to break down faster. If you don't have a tumbler then you can use a bin, tip it on its side, and kick it around the garden for a minute, enlist the kids! Balcony compost works well for this as you can use buckets with lids then roll them around the balcony when you need it.

Compost in weeks not months

Another step to speeding the compost to be ready in weeks not months is a food processor. That's right, if you want it to break down faster you need to help this process by doing it yourself. Any food products, chuck them into the food processor before it goes in the compost. This really does super speed your finished soil. Your worm farm will love this method too as it helps them eat through it faster!

The last step might sound a bit odd and i have to admit i haven't tried it yet myself either. Have any sourkrout or natural yogurt? Add the liquid to your compost! these products are already fermented, they contain the party needed to get things going. Don't use too much, and make sure you spread it around. Remember you want party guests, not a rave.

Remember for a good compost don't add dairy or meat as these will make it stink and attract rats. You want a great compost lasagune of layers of green, brown and nitrogen releasing agents and in no time you will have rich soil ready for your spring and summer planting.

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