Composting & Worm Farms

Get your composting system setup

Your compost system

Setting up

Preparing your food waste

First steps

Compost bin

Choose a well-drained location in full or part sun and position the bin in direct contact with the soil. To stop your compost being smelly its good to create even layers of 50% food waste and then 50% ‘brown material’.

Collect your brown material (moisten cardboard, egg cartons, non-glossy paper, straws, dry leaves etc.) and green materials (vegie scraps, grass clippings, green leaves etc.)

Add a layer of coarse, dry material like sticks to the bottom to allow circulation. Add a layer of green materials then two layers of brown materials

Worm Farm

In the winter, place your worms in a sunny area to keep your worms productive. In the summer, keep your worms in a cool sheltered area away from direct sunlight.

 

Cut your food waste into small pieces, this will make it easier for your worms to eat. No onion, garlic, citrus, meat and bones, fish, oils or animal faeces.

Line your middle tray (or top if you do not have a middle) with newspaper. Soak your worm bedding box in water for 30 minutes before spreading over the newspaper. For the first 2 weeks, feed your worms only a small amount as they settle into the bedding. Cover your worms with some wet newspaper or hessian.

Bokashi bucket

Place your Bokashi in an easily accessible location away from direct sunlight.

Cut your food waste into small pieces. Just about all food waste can go into your Bokashi. Avoid large bones and excessive amounts of liquids.

Place the plastic grate at the bottom of your Bokashi. Ensure that the tap is turned off. Place your food waste in the bucket and sprinkle approximately 1 teaspoon of the mix per 1 cup of waste. Repeat the layering process until full

 

 

Composting is a natural process that can be harnessed in your own backyard. By composting at home you can create a rich and natural soil conditioner for use in your garden. There is no specific method for home composting as every household has different types and volumes of organic waste. 

Why compost?

On average, 40% of our weekly rubbish is made up of food waste!

When we compost this food waste, not only are we reducing our landfill’s greenhouse gas emissions, but we are also creating a rich organic fertiliser for our gardens.

If you leave your food waste in the garden, it will naturally decompose.

Or you can use a controlled composting system, that helps you get results more quickly. 

Tips for a healthy compost bin

  1. Set up your compost bin in full or part sun in a well-drained position.  Make sure the bin is in a convenient location to encourage you to use and maintain it.
  2. When getting started, add a bucket of animal manure or a few handfuls of blood and bone to help jump start the microbes that convert food and garden waste into compost.
  3. Never let your compost dry out.  Ants in the compost may indicate it is too dry.  Add water and turn the compost regularly.
  4. If your compost smells or is attracting vinegar flies, this may indicate it is too wet or acidic.  Reduce the moisture by adding dry materials such as leaves or shredded newspaper, turn over the compost or mix in a handful of garden lime.
  5. Your compost should be similar to a squeezed sponge; you should be able to squeeze out a couple of drops of water from your compost.

ADAM: the recipe for great compost

Establishing and maintaining a home compost system can be simplified by following the four ADAM principles.

Aliveness
Compost is not a pile of dead, rotting rubbish! A compost bin is home to billions of bacteria, microbes, fungi and other critters enthusiastically converting food and garden waste into nutrient-rich humus that we call compost.

Diversity
An efficient compost bin requires a diverse mix of food. If you are following the ADAM principles it is not necessary to layer the ingredients in your compost bin. Simply add nitrogen rich ingredients as you generate them and compliment this by mixing in some carbon rich ingredients once a week.

Aeration
Air in your compost bin will ensure aerobic bacteria live in your compost. Maintain oxygen levels in your compost bin by turning the composting materials at least once a week. Adding a small quantity of course carbon rich materials such as small prunings and dry leaves will also help keep the air flowing. Frequent aeration will speed up the composting process and minimise unpleasant odours.

Moisture
Moisture is essential for maintaining the health of your compost and will help break down materials quickly. Dry compost will break down materials very slowly and a compost that is too wet will be low in oxygen and become smelly. Ideally your compost should be as moist as a damp sponge.

Daily Ingredients for a “Nitrogen Rich” compost

  • Fruit & veg scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags & tea leaves
  • Fresh grass clippings
  • Manure
  • Vacuum dust
  • Animal & human hair

Weekly Ingredients for a “Carbon Rich” compost

  • Prunings & bark
  • Dry grass clippings
  • Leaves, straw & hay
  • Cane mulch
  • Dead flowers
  • Shredded egg cartons
  • Shredded paper

Other Useful Ingredients

  • Soil
  • Egg shells
  • Wood ash
  • Lime
  • Dolomite
  • Blood & bone
  • Dynamic lifter