Science & Nature

Creating compost I

Today, I set up our new compost bin in the back yard. It’s the first time I’ve ever composted, so — as is my well-known habit — I researched the living hell out of the process. This afternoon, between the late afternoon sun and wee bits of drizzle, I got it all set up.


Over the last couple of weeks, I bought some principal supplies:

  • 250 litre compost bin ($55 NZD)
  • Box of compost starter ($19)
  • Bag of Bokashi mix ($10)
  • Garden fork (pitch fork) ($12)
  • Bag of soil ($4)

Because autumn is here, I also started collecting fallen leaves, Camellia blossoms, grass clippings, and branches, which I today snipped into 1-2cm pieces. Over a month, after three rakings and two lawn mowings, I had about 15kg of garden matter. I had also just started to collect kitchen waste: egg shells, salad waste, bits of fruit, etc.

Establishing the bin

I created layers about 10cm deep of garden waste mixtures. On top of each, I placed a few tablespoons of compost starter and a light layer of soil. I then sprinkled with water from a watering can. Repeating this created about four layers. Every other layer received a tablespoon or two of Bokashi mix. I finished it all with the kitchen waste and Bokashi.

The entire bin, which is perhaps a third full, is probably 40-50cm deep. I sprinkled the top with water and placed the lid on top.

If my research is accurate, I shouldn’t really have to do anything for two or three weeks except stir the mix with a pitch fork every couple of weeks.

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