Basic Gardening Tips - Part 2

Monday, April 25, 2022

Link to the biodegradable waste here

I started the composting project by the end of the summer of 2020. I am someone who recycles and sorts her trash. That's my little contribution to Mother Earth. Plus, I had been wondering for several years, how to make use of all that organic waste?

I acquired that big blue plastic barrel, thanks to my brother, got a large bag of sawdust from his workshop, and a long wooden stick to turn the leftovers and mix them every once in a while. I tried to find some earthworms to colonize and speed up the process of composting but to no avail. So I decided to compost my leftovers without those little amazing creatures, that are not so easy to find in our soils anymore. Or at least the ones that have been brimmed with chemicals and toxic products in the name of killing weeds and pests... I was ready to wait some more time for my compost to be ready for use. So you can imagine how excited I was when I opened the barrel last week! And I have to say, I was quite satisfied with the result.

You can replicate my experiment if you have a small spot on your balcony or any area that is not cold/fresh. To avoid putrid smells, throw your onions, chicken, fish, or meat leftovers to your neighborhood's stray cats and dogs. Since I am a vegetarian, I don't have to worry about animal leftovers, at least as long as I am not hosting a gathering. I read that eggshells are amazing to the mix and added many to my composting blend. Leftover coffee or tea bags, preferably without the bags, are also important for the soil of plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, or gardenias. You can keep the coffee and tea separate and use that powder as an additional tool to control the acidity of the ground where these aforementioned plants are growing.

Last but not least, every time you add organic matter to your container or barrel, add some sawdust or old paper/cardboard in small pieces and mix well. Avoid glossy colored paper as it contains a plastic film that makes it hard to decompose naturally. Keep the container or barrel closed tightly. Preferably in a warm place to accelerate the decomposition of the matter. You can use your compost as mulch, or add it to your crop beds, your potted plants, and even to the soil around fruit trees. And remember, "Patience is a noble virtue, and, when rightly exercised, does not fail of its reward" (George Washington).

Happy composting!

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