Your Guide to Composting

Your Guide to Composting

Your Guide to Composting

Comparing Worm farms, Compost bins and Bokashi bins

In Australia 7.3 million tonnes of food is wasted every year. Food waste in landfill creates significant amounts of greenhouse gases as there is a lack of oxygen. This results in methane production and contributes to climate change. On average half of general waste is food scraps. This can be diverted to methods that decompose this matter at home and generate valuable nutrient rich products that can be used on the garden. This helps to return carbon to soil and reduce the amount in the atmosphere. Options include worm farms, composting and bokashi. Methods vary and are best used in differing cases which should be considered when choosing which is best for your home.

Worm Farms

The Carbon Garden Worm Farm

Using a worm farm, you can turn your kitchen scraps into organic fertiliser. Worms eat their own weight in food scraps each day while producing a nutrient rich worm tea (worm wee) and worm castings (worm poo) which can be added to the garden. The number of worms you will need is calculated by multiplying the number of people in your home by 1000, for example a family of 4 will need 4,000 worms (worms can usually be purchased from your local garden centre or some hardware stores such as Bunnings). Liquid worm tea accumulates at the bottom of the farm. Open the tap and empty it into a container. You can then dilute with water using a tea to water ratio of 1:7. Solid worm castings are found in the middle and upper layers. It can be scraped off the top every 4-6 months.

What you CAN add What you CANNOT add

Fruit and Veggie scraps

Teabags and coffee grounds

Crushed eggshell and ash (prevent it from becoming acidic)

Small amounts bread and pasta

Moist cardboard and newspaper (provides worm bin bedding and balance between carbon and nitrogen)

Onion and Garlic

Chilli

Dairy

Citrus

Meat, bones, and fish

Oils

Dog and cat faeces

Greasy or oily paper or carboard

 

How to maintain an ideal environment for your worm farm:

+ Worms prefer a damp environment and do not like extreme temperatures. Ideally, they are suited to temperatures between 18-25 degrees. In summer place it in a shady spot and move to a sunny spot in winter to keep them warm. Particularly the afternoon sun can be harsh and hot.

+ Wait until food is almost gone before adding more to avoid overfeeding, increasing acidity, and attracting pests

+ Add paper and cardboard to maintain carbon-nitrogen balance and create oxygen circulation in the farm (torn or shredded into small, manageable pieces)

+ Keep pH between 6 and 7 (crushed eggshell helps maintain pH level)

+ Moisten bedding. If it is dry, sprinkle water to dry areas

+ Keep farm dark

+ Always cover food scraps with bedding (hessian cloth)

+ Look out for pests

+ Drain liquid once a week

+ Harvest worm castings

Composting

The Carbon Garden Compost Bin Sketch

Composting utilizes naturally occurring microorganisms to decompose organic waste by providing an environment in which they thrive in. It can take 4 -6 months but the result is additional organic nutrients you can use on your garden to replenish the soil.

To successfully compost:

You can purchase a compost bin or simply create a fenced area with timbers in a corner of your yard. To successfully compost you need to add a healthy balance between green organic waste (provides nitrogen) and brown organic waste (provides carbon). Ideally the balance between nitrogen and carbon should be 1:30 (30 parts carbon for every 1 part nitrogen - as a general rule, "brown colour, such as dry leaves = carbon and green colour, such as grass clippings = nitrogen) for rapid composting. Compost should be aerated with a garden fork or compost tumbler. Carbon is important in giving compost its light fluffy body. For a more detailed article on carefully balancing the carbon to nitrogen ratio of soil and compost, read our C:N Ratio article here.

What you CAN add  What you CANNOT add

Green waste

Grass clippings
Fruit and vegetable waste


Brown waste

Dry leaves
Branches
Wood chips
Bark
Shredded paper bags
Coffee grounds
Egg shells
Hay

Fish
Bones
Meat scraps
Pet waste
Diseased plants
Dairy

 

 

Bokashi

The Carbon Garden Bakashi Bin

Bokashi is a fast compact indoor composting system designed to be set up in the kitchen. A microbial powder or spray is used to ferment food waste in an anaerobic environment. Food decomposes over a 2- week period and then you can dispose of waste by digging a hole in the garden and bury it or add to compost bin. Bokashi juice is produced which can be drained via a tap, diluted approximately 2 teaspoons to every litre, and used as additional nutrients for your garden. It can also be poured as a concentrate down the drain to prevent algae and control odours.

What you CAN add  What you CANNOT add
Any scraps from a living organism
Fruit and veggie scraps
Raw and cooked meat
Dairy
Paper towel

Onion

Excessive mouldy food
Excessive liquid including oils

 

Smart Indoor Composter

The Carbon Garden Smart Indoor Composter

The Smart Indoor Composter is a cutting-edge indoor composting system designed to efficiently manage food waste for households of 1-6 people. This innovative device combines high-temperature drying, powerful deodorization, and grinding to rapidly process food waste into usable fertilizer. With a generous 2.5L capacity and a self-contained blender pitcher design, the Smart composter is installation-free and operates by simply plugging it in.

Unlike other composters that discharge waste directly into the sewer, the Smart Indoor Composter is environmentally friendly and does not contribute to sewage pollution or blockages. The quiet operation, with a noise level of only 40-45dB, ensures minimal disruption while processing food waste in just 1-5 hours. Crafted from eco-friendly materials and featuring a sleek, modern design, the Nagualep electric composter is a convenient and sustainable solution for managing food waste at home, while benefiting both your garden and the planet.

What you CAN add  What you CANNOT add

Any fruit or vegetable scraps (except for excessively hard or robust pieces)

Coffee and Tea (avoid adding synthetic teabags)

Egg Shells

Bread and Pasta (in small amounts)

Very small amounts of paper and cardboard

Leaves

 

Meat products

Fish

Dairy

Oil

Bones and other hard food waste

Excessively wet or moist foods

Branches/Bark

 

Comparison of Methods

All three options produce valuable fertilising products to be used in the garden and all reduce the waste that goes to landfill. However, choice of composting system may be determined by your type of home, the waste products you would like to compost and their amounts.

  Worm Farm Compost Bokashi Smart Composter
Best For Best for homes dealing mainly with food waste Best for homes with large gardens and garden waste Best for price and indoor use. Good choice for small homes. Best for convenience and speed. Great for small to medium households.
Composts

Food scraps

Newspaper and cardboard

No meat, dairy, bones, onion, bones

Garden waste and food scraps

No meat, dairy, bones
All food scraps from living organism

Practically all Green Waste, excluding really hard or tough items.

No meat, bones, dairy, oil or excessively wet items.

Maintenance Some maintenance (pH, temperature, moisture, not overfeeding worms, harvesting worm castings) Aeration by turning with garden fork or compost tumbler Minimal Minimal - once per month give your unit a clean and check for any "caked on" parts and remove.
Speed 2-3 months 6 months 2-4 weeks 1 to 5 hours
Volume Small to Medium Medium to Large Small Small
Limitations

Limited capacity

Some things cannot be added
Outdoor only

Small capacity

Ongoing purchases of bokashi mix needed

Small capacity

Cost can be a factor for some.

 

If you're interested in getting started with your own composting, we recommend visiting your local garden centre or hardware store for a worm farm, outdoor compost bin or bokashi. If you're interested in a Smart Indoor Composter, visit this link here.


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