The Canny Gardener

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canny composting

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I have been trying to make compost for some time. Living in an apartment, I do not have access to soil- all my plants are grown in containers.  I looked at buying a composter but found not only the costs and maintenance difficult but after reading reviews, realised that not all composters work effectively.  I don’t have the money to try experiments to see which composter might work.

So working on the principle of Hügelkultur, I put all my cuttings from gardening and cooking, leftover soil from pots and some shop bought compost as a ‘starter’ and wrapped it in plastic sheeting and left it for a year inside a used tyre.  Today, I unrolled it. Apart from the slugs, spiders, wood lice and earthworms, I have lovely black compost!  It felt warm to the touch, so it must have been composting and some weeds have taken advantage of this!

IMG_1149

Hügelkultur is a composting process where one creates raised planting beds on top of decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials. The process helps to improve soil fertility, water retention, and soil warming, thus benefiting plants grown on or near such mounds.  This idea replicates the natural process of decomposition that occurs on forest floors. I had previously used this idea in the planter itself, copying this from the Cuban urban gardeners who had to work with poor soil inside cities.

 

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Author: Sumita

Sumita works as a teacher and practitioner in the field of sustainable design. Her interests include designing, making, gardening, use of waste and found materials, community and inclusive design.

3 thoughts on “canny composting

  1. Pingback: canny composting | The Canny Gardener | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  2. Pingback: reorganising for the winter | The Canny Gardener

  3. Pingback: container composting experiment | The Canny Gardener

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