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Hi there, Kerry here again.  Composting is probably the most important thing anyone can do if you want a thriving garden.

A thriving garden is not the only benefit of compositing it also benefits the environment with less waste going to landfill.  It allows you to use your kitchen and garden waste to create what permaculturalists would  call “gold” as it is the go to for many garden problems. It nourishes your plants, improves difficult soils (e.g. clay or sandy soils) to allow plants to thrive, which in turn creates an oasis of friendly microbes and ecosystems.

So what do you need to create good compost?   There are a number of methods to create compost. There is a wealth of information out there on other methods if you want to research it. Here is one method and the recipe.
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Start layering the ingredients (as if you were making a lasagne) in a base of at least 1m2. It can be contained in a bay (3 sided bin like the picture) or in a pile on the ground.

  • Brown matter – about 5 cm (i.e. Dry straw, grass clippings, leaves, grain husks (carbon))
  • Green matter – about 5 cm (i.e. kitchen scraps, weeds (nitrogen))
  • High nitrogen – sprinklings (i.e. manures, chicken, horse, cow etc (starter) (urine is a great source of nitrogen)).
  • Water throughout the layering so that when you pick up a handful there are a few drops of water come out when you squeeze it. Cover it with a it with a tarp or something to protect from wind and rain.
  • Next wait three days (the pile should be steaming hot but not hot to touch), then turn it on day four (turn it upside down and inside out and keep aerated and fluffy) water again and cover.
  • Turn it again every two days for about 2 weeks and the pile will cool down and means the compost is ready to use.

It is a labour of love for the most amazing compost and well worth the effort but again this is only one method, there are less labour intensive ones but they take longer.  You decide.

You can use it as potting mix, mix in with existing soils in and around plants, and watch the garden grow!
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Happy garden!

Permaculture Sydney West Member