Compost where you are

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Did you know you can compost wherever you want to grow crops? Without waiting for compost?

This images shows seedlings flourishing in poor soil by growing on top of a layer of composting food waste. Below are 2 images that compare seedings of the same age and size planted on the same day. Photos were taken a week after planting.

Notice that the two seedlings planted in soil that covers raw compost is not only much bigger but looks much much healthier than the seedlings planted about a meter away in the same soil without any compost.

There are 2 ways I have successfully used compost in place. I’m talking about using raw compost, essentially whole kitchen and yard scrapes. These methods are useful when you don’t have animals to process kitchen and yard waste. Every kitchen has waste, and this waste is a resource. (These methods do require a yard. For those without animals or a yard a worm or bokashi bin would be the way to utilize precious kitchen “waste”.)

Method 1: Everyday put the kitchen and yard scrapes under a different tree (or shrub or bush etc). I rotate around so that every tree gets some compost in turn. I then cover with mulch, leaves grass, whatever is available. Avoid getting too close to the trunk. Around the dripline is best.

This mimics the natural process of fruit and leaves falling at the base of trees and plants. It’s quick. It’s easy. And it actually work.

Method 2: Plant over a new compost pile. This can be done by digging down or building a raised bed. In the area you wish to plant throw down your kitchen and yard waste. Cover with several inches of soil. If the soil is poor that’s okay. It’s about to get a lot better.

Bonus Method: In-Garden Vermicompost (Feed the Worms). I tried this method in my commercial tea field. After 3 weeks the tea plants with this treatment were significantly taller and bushier. I stopped when the mongoose found it. No other vermin was interested. How does it work?

Put kitchen scrapes in a blender with enough water to make a slurry. This breaks the food scrapes into particles small enough for worms to consume. Dump one container of food scrapes slurry per plant. Feeding the worms will improve the soil directly and will quickly increase your worm populations.

Just think, no more hauling, piling, turning, turning, and hauling again. No more compost piles, or as I call them, ‘Pile and Pray’. Now you can have compost happen right where you need it….just like it happens in Nature.

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