Part 4 Guinea Pig to Green Thumb Gardening Series: Fertilization, Compost and Worm Bins

Instructions for Making a Worm Bin

Don't put citrus in! They hate it and will escape.

The easiest way to make compost is to take a black, plastic garbage can. Fill it with 2/3 carbon-producing waste (dead leaves, straw, hay) and 1/3 nitrogen (grass clippings, food waste, weeds). If the compost is too carbon-heavy, it will not decompose. Add water and green items. If it is too nitrogen-heavy, it will get gnats and rot. Just keep a bin of leaves next to the bin. Every time you add nitrogen items in, add a few handfuls of leaves. 

Once it is full, drench it with water, stick it in a sunny spot and start on a new one. The compost will sink down to abut 1/3 of what you put in. Use this around the base of plants and transplanted seedlings.

Materials:

2 Dark Colored trash cans $15/each

1 Plastic Bin    $12

Use leftover straw or hay from lesson two.

One container of Red Wriggler Worms $5

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Total: $32

In-town or small space Compost System:

Place two dark colored trash cans against a sunny wall.

Gradually fill with kitchen scraps.

For every handful of kitchen scraps, add two handfuls of straw, hay, or dead leaves.

When one can is full, start on the next.

By the time the second can is full, the first can should be ready to use.

* Your compost will shrink down to about ⅓ the size of its original.

* Don’t put citrus in compost because worms hate it and it doesn’t compost quickly at all. Instead, keep a jar on your counter full of vinegar and add citrus peels to it. Makes a great cleaner.

How to use compost:

At the beginning of each planting season, spread a layer of compost on all beds. Then add your complete organic fertilizer, and plant!

Commercial Fertilizers:

Once the plants begin to flower or produce, we feed them with some commercial fertilizer.

We use two:

Mighty Grow, made in Alabama, just across the state line by a family committed to plant, people, and land health. I love these folks and their product.

and

Sumagrow, made in Hattiesburg, well researched, effective.