Thursday, July 9, 2015

How to Make Compost At Home

My hubby fondly recalls how his father would grow vegetables and flowering plants at home in Scotland and the rituals he observed as a child. Hubby's father would arrange for a lorry of "stinky muck" from a nearby farmer to be delivered annually. The farmyard fertilizer / manure was basically straw mixed with cow dung which had been recovered from the barn floor. This was essentially a recycling initiative whereby farmers gained some revenue from their excess waste and local gardening enthusiasts could obtain much needed "soil food" for the next round of gardening at home.

Hubby has told our children how their grandfather would grow potatoes, onions ,carrots, cabbage, lettuce, garden peas, turnips and rhubarb in the back garden as well as bedding plants, cucumbers and tomatoes in the greenhouse. Hubby remembers watching the garden flourish during spring into summer and ultimately picking /digging up the vegetables and enjoying them on the dinner table or raw in the case of carrots and garden peas.

Fruits of labour - passion fruit

Digging the manure into the ground was back breaking work, however when a bumper crop of vegetables came round in the summer the fruits (or vegetables in this case) of grandad's labour became apparent.

Hubby grew up witnessing his father collect all the grass cuttings and some kitchen waste on a compost heap in the far corner of the garden; this compost was also dug into the ground annually. We were keen to pass on the gardening knowledge to our own children and make sure our children don't assume all food consumed simply comes from the supermarket and start to think of the foods origin beyond the supermarket shelves.

While on road trips in Scotland last year, we would point out the sheep, milk cows, beef cows as we passed by the farms and we also went fruit picking on several occasions for fun educational days out to allow our kids to learn about where food comes from.

Milk cow

Meat cow

Back in KL, over the last few years, we have expanded upon my love of herb gardening to include fruit trees and flowers to our home gardening activities, such as passion fruit, mulberries, kedondong, calamansi lime, bananas, blue pea flower and roselle.

Fruit trees require more feeding than grass or most evergreen plants therefore we decided to follow on grandad's tradition and also take Peppa Pig's advice and make our own compost.

Coffee shops are widespread in KL today and Starbucks especially generate lots of used coffee grounds as a by product. These coffee grounds can be reused by gardeners to enrich soil and improve the composting cycle.

Our homemade compost essentially consists of cut grass and coffee grounds, leaves and kitchen waste (fruit peels etc) are optional depending upon if the grass collected filled the container (wheelie bin).

How to Make Your Own Compost At Home

The process for us is basically as follows  :

Cut the grass

Take time out to admire you newly cut grass (optional)

Transfer the grass cuttings into a suitable container (fill to the top)

Source some used coffee grounds, Starbucks provides this service for FREE

Follow the instructions provided below :

Over time, the volume will decrease, add more leaves / grass / kitchen waste if you wish

Try to mix the compost every week if you can, then tip it out once you are happy with the results (4 weeks at least more if possible)

Quite often the result is stinky, the stinkier the better lol

The compost is placed at the base of fruit tress or in flower beds as required

This compost can be used to supplement fertilizers or to replace them depending upon your requirements.

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  1. Thanks so much for giving me the idea to get one of these big green rubbish bin to serve as the "container" for making compost! I tried making my compost on a smaller scale by recycling the paint buckets, and I left it uncovered (so no stinky smell!) .

  2. Oh dear! Just reading about it makes me tired. Muahahahaha!!! I don't have green fingers, anyway. Everything I plant dies! LOL!!!

  3. Great ! I did my compost too but not quite the same method as yours . I will try to follow your method n see how it goes. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Great ! I did my compost too but not quite the same method as yours . I will try to follow your method n see how it goes. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. i like the story on hubby's childhood - he really learned about the land, how to work it, how to respect it, and how to enjoy its rewards :)


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