All you need to know about Composting and Worm Farming
Compost Bin: operates as a closed system, allowing garden and kitchen scraps to be added. Best suited to a sunny position, on soil – to allow drainage and access for worms and other garden critters.
Bokashi Bin: specially designed fermentation system that breaks down kitchen waste to nutrient rich soil conditioner. Ideal for apartment dwellers, the air tight bokashi bin can be located on a kitchen bench or under the sink. The fermented product needs to be dug into soil.
Worm Farm: ideal for people who have no garden or a small backyard. Composting worms eat food scraps and produce worm castings and worm tea which is an inexpensive garden fertiliser that is perfect for gardens or pot plants.
What can I put in my compost bin, bokashi or worm farm?
Tips for successful composting:
- Keep an eye on the moisture levels. You don’t want your compost bin to be too wet or too dry. A healthy compost will have a moisture content similar to a wrung out sponge .
- Add a diversity of materials (kitchen waste, straw, paper, cardboard, grass clippings, dry leaves, soft and coarse prunings).
- Alternate high nitrogen materials (eg. food scraps or ‘green materials’) with low nitrogen materials (eg. dry leaves or ‘brown materials’).
- Add items as small pieces and avoid adding large items such as avocado seeds, pineapple tops and large twigs.
- Turn the compost regularly with a compost turner or garden fork, to ensure good aeration.
- Deter vermin by fastening a piece of fine mesh under the bin before commencing composting and avoid adding meat scraps and fish bones.
Tips for successful worm farming:
- Worms can be kept inside or outside. Just remember they do not like it too hot or too cold and need to be in a sheltered area.
- keep your worms warm in winter with a worm blanket or piece of hessian or cardboard.
- in summer keep your worms cool by placing a frozen water bottle in the top tray, amongst the food scraps.
- Spread food out over the surface of the worm farm – around 25mm thick.
- Cut up large chunks of food so the worms can break it down before it starts to rot.
- To ensure good drainage, use a fork to ‘fluff’ up the top layer of the worm farm, every so often.
- Use a fork to ‘fluff’ the top layer of the worm farm, every so often.
- If you notice there is more food than the worms can eat, delay adding food for 1-2 days, or try cutting up your food scraps into smaller pieces or blending before putting in the farm.
- Rip up envelopes, old receipts and egg cartons and add them to the scraps in your kitchen.