Roots 'n' Shoots: Instant Compost

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Instant Compost

This is just a quick post for some instant compost ideas.

1. Kitchen waste directly into the soil

Kitchen waste is mainly food scraps: peels, stems and leaves of plant matter. You can add whole pieces of kitchen waste to the soil (it will take 2-3 months to break down depending on the season). Or you can process the kitchen waste in the blender before adding it to the soil. Water the hole after filling it up again. The nutrients are directly accessed by plant roots and seeds can be if you sown on top of the hole (30cm), which contains the kitchen waste.

2.  Check your gutters

Gutters get clogged with leaves and twigs, with constant rain and wet conditions, have already decomposed and is ready to use in the garden. Again add directly to the garden, either as a nutrient rich mulch/mould, or bury as compost.

3. Manure tea

Mature animal manure (no longer smelly) is added to a fabric bag and suspended in water, at a ratio of 1:3 (this is 1/3 manure to 2/3 water). The concoction is left for 3-7 days to steep. The resulting mixture is diluted to 1:5 for garden plants (1 litre of tea added to an extra 5 litres of clean water) or 1:10 for container plants (1 litre tea to 10 litres water). The solution is used as a liquid or foliar feed.

4. Coffee & tea compost

Another quick compost recipe is to add spent coffee ground or tea leaves to the soil – this is super stuff, especially as they have lots of nutrients, are water retentive and they are pre-processed into a fine matter. It can also be used as a seedling potting medium.

5. Nettle & comfrey tea

Nettles and comfrey can be turned into a smelly liquid feed in the same way as manure tea. First get some nettle leaves (young nettle leaves, the top parts of the plant) or comfrey leaves. These are placed in a hessian or other porous bag (old pillow case) and is placed in a bucket of water. For each 1kg of leaves add 20L of water. The concoction is left for 20-30 days until smelly. You can place a lid on top to keep the smell at bay (and likely the flies). The liquid feed is diluted 1:10 [1 litre of tea is added to 10 litres of water]. This can be used as a liquid or foliar feed.

6. Worm tea

Worm tea can be made by flushing your worm farm with fresh water. The solution is used in a 1:1 ratio (1 litre tea added to 1 litre water) as liquid or foliar feed. My wormery is moist and drips its own liquid through without me having to flush it - I collect the run-off once a month.

Any extra suggestions?


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