Make your compost yourself, yes it is possible
With the arrival of fine weather, we are preparing to go buy some flowers, fresh herbs and other small vegetable plants to plant on the balcony or in the yard. Of course, to plant all this, you should not forget the big bags of compost… unless you start composting at home! We explain how to do it.
Whether you have a small garden, a large backyard, a balcony, or none of the above, composting year-round is entirely possible. This is what Amy Barrington, a long-time gardener and project manager with the urban agriculture and greening organization Sentier Urbain, does. She shared her best advice with us.
As a pet, it is certain that the earthworm is not at the top of the list of animals that we dream of adopting, but to reduce your leftover food to compost, we do not do better, assures Amy. Vermicompost (or vermicompost) which harbors worms would be the preferred option for making homemade compost.
“It's a very effective solution, because an earthworm is able to eat twice its size in one day. It quickly gives a fertilizer that will be of very good quality.”
If you can buy it in shops, making your own vermicompost is not very complicated. All you need is an opaque plastic container, with a lid, in which you will make small holes and place a mixture of soil, paper, cut cardboard and/or sawdust, before adding earthworms, then our scraps and other leftovers.
“My grandmother took the worms directly from her garden,” says the expert. But the most effective, according to her, are the red wrigglers, also called (and that's a good thing) “compost worms”.
Moths, gnats, runny compost juice, rotting smell… In order not to suffer all the undesirable effects that the installation of a compost bin can cause, the key is to maintain the balance in the bin.   ;
- We prefer green waste; everything else can go to the municipal compost.
- Avoid: animal bones, cat droppings, hair as well as very greasy foods or oils.
- It is thought to make small holes in the tray for the air to circulate and to regularly add paper or cardboard in small pieces to maintain the carbon balance.
- You can add eggshells to balance the pH of the mixture, but you have to remember to grind them into pieces so that the worms do not hurt themselves.
Using the same base – soil, paper and green waste – it is also possible to make your compost outside, without the help of earthworms, and in larger quantities. In a large bin or by making a simple heap between four boards, the mixture of matter decomposes naturally over time to turn into compost. If the pile is more than 4 feet high, it will be able to survive the winter.
On the other hand, if it requires less daily maintenance, “this method is much slower; you won’t have compost for a year,” warns the gardener. And you have to think about stirring it at least once or twice a season.
Whichever option you choose, the result will be quality compost, ideal for use as fertilizer in the vegetable garden or for your indoor plants. “And it’s also a lifestyle that allows you to be more connected with what you consume, believes Amy. By managing our waste, we also become aware of what we waste and of our environment.”