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What A Waste – Composting Tips

Our composting is in a sad state. A peek yesterday revealed a bunch of garden waste with  a decidedly inorganic feel. Like nothing was happening… Something’s wrong!

Thinking that the brown-green mix might be wrong,  I rummaged in my bio bin, emptied my Bodum of its coffee grinds,  and packed it all up to take down later this morning.

QUICK REVIEW OF THE STEPS OF COMPOSTING

1. ORGANIC STUFF:  The bin needs to be fed equal amounts of greens (materials high in nitrogen) and browns (materials high in carbon). There’s a list on the bin, but quickly…GREENS are stuff like egg shells (crushed), flowers, fruit scraps, vegetable scraps, feathers, leaves, green plant trimmings, tea leaves, and tea bags, coffee grounds,even hair! BROWNS are dried grass clippings, strw, sawdust, hardwood ash, woodchips, leaves, etc.  NO-NO’s are meat and dairy products, bones, oils, diseased or insect infected plants, animal waste, weeds with mature seeds.

2. MOISTURE: Damp stuff decomposes faster than dry. The compost should be kept a little damp by sprinkling with water when necessary.

3. AIR: Every 2 – 3 weeks the compost should have a poke to add some air. Broom handles are good for this. Don’t just poke at the top, either. Poke deep!

4.SEPARATE:  diseased/Infected plants from ordinary weeds: At Fort York Garden diseased and infected plants should be put in the HOT COMPOST bin.

5. SHRED:  When adding vines and a tangle of plants, chop it up. There are two cutters in the shed. The one marked DISEASED (it’s okay you can touch it) is for cutting the waste in the “HOT COMPOST” bin (the exclusive domain of diseased and infected plants.

If I’ve forgotten anything, please feel free to comment!

COMPOST TEA

So you’ve applied some compost to your plot. Why not rev it up every so often with a serving of compost tea?  Fill a cloth bag with dry compost and submerge in a bucket of water. The ratio here should be one part compost to five parts water. Let it steep. Swirl in a few times every day to ensure the bag doesn’t bob to the surface. Each week, pour some of the tea over your soil and around the plants. Empty the bag of the remaining compost and return it to the composter or apply directly to your plot!

FREE CITY COMPOST

City compost pickup sites have been reduced this year.  Two of the nearest spots:

Thursday May 12, 12pm
Bellevue Square Park
on Augusta Avenue, north of Dundas Street
Kensington Market area

Saturday May 21st, 9.00 am.

Trinity Bellwoods, north end.

This compost is free. You can take a garbage bag, a bin, a wheelbarrow…Your green bin (it has wheels after all!)

If there is any way members or the steering committee can coordinate a run, great!

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One response »

  1. We use compost teas for fertilizers and organic pest management methods. We are concerned about everything we use because we eat what we grow! If you ever want to know about how we do something just ask – well tell you – and you might know something we can learn also! ..Compost Tea.We are making our own compost tea!

    Reply

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