This is the essential step to gardening on your balcony: make your own compost on your balcony. We explain how to take the plunge and adopt this ultra green activity.
It is impossible to miss the trend of green gardening. Gardening without fertilizer, producing your own compost, permaculture, all these activities are increasingly appreciated by budding gardeners as well as experienced gardeners. No matter how big or small your square of greenery is, this concern for “clean gardening” fits right up to the balcony.
What is compost?
For beginners in balcony gardening, it is surely necessary to explain this key term for experienced gardeners. Compost is simply the product of decomposition of organic waste through specialized bacteria that will transform into future fertilizer for your plants.
How to get your compost?
The answer is very simple: your future compost is not far away. It is most often found on your plates or in your garbage can. Tea bags, fruit or vegetable peels, coffee grounds, tissues, paper towels… Nothing is thrown away, everything is transformed, it’s a bit like the very essence of compost! Compost is also on your balcony with dead leaves or wilted flowers. The best composts are obtained in the mid-season with grass and straw, all properly aerated.
Compost on his balcony: why is that a good idea?
You may look like a crazy person at first, but you can quickly prove to your friends and family that composting yourself on a small balcony in the city is really a good thing.
>> Reduce your waste on a daily basis. Stop throwing organic waste in the garbage. This will considerably reduce the production of your waste. It is a positive gesture for sustainable development. Nature will thank you! By throwing your peels in the household garbage, you contribute to using a lot of space in your garbage and deprive yourself of a natural manna that can be useful to you on a daily basis.
>> Replant your plants easily. The compost you have produced allows you to repot your indoor plants and flowers. No need to buy – let alone transport – bags of soil, you have everything at hand and you can add good soil as you go. Very rich, your compost will boost the growth of your plantations and renew the substrate.
>> Avoid unpleasant odours. You have a hard time believing that, and yet it’s true. A good compost should not emit any unpleasant odours. If not, it’s because it’s not airy enough. Add straw, leaves and a few twigs and air it out properly, it’s the key to composting without harmful odours.
How to make compost on your balcony?
Far from being an insurmountable business, creating your composting support is very simple and will not require a crazy budget either.
Make sure you have a fairly large bin. It doesn’t have to be very deep. You must be able to find a suitable cover to close it and a tray to place it underneath. Buy or find some earthworms. You can find them in garden centres or you can find them in rich lands. Ask a friend who has a garden! Drill the tray with 4 holes in the lower corners and a few holes in the contours. This way, the compost juice will be able to escape and the earthworms will be able to benefit from a better oxygenation. Place the bin in an accessible place that will not interfere with travel. Place the first waste from your kitchen in one of the corners of the bin. Do not spread over the entire bottom of the bin.
Above this waste, you will add a mixture of old newspaper strips (colorless and glossy), compost or soil and your earthworms. Sprinkle gently to moisten the compost. You have to make sure it stays wet or the decomposition won’t happen. The water will flow underneath. Close with the cover and protect from the sun. Too much light or too intense a heat would be harmful to earthworms.
Let it sit for at least 2 weeks before adding waste. Once this time has passed, you repeat the same steps. After a while, you’ll notice that the compost has turned into pretty soil. No need to add more newspaper. Take the compost you need as you go along. And if you don’t have a lot of work to do, opt for a vermicompost purchased in stores.