Compost is like a natural and chemical-free alternative to fertilizer. It’s made of organic material that can be added to plants’ soil, including indoor plants, to help them grow. This home project will not only help you save money in spending on chemical fertilizers, but it can also help in reducing the overall burden on landfills.
If you’re into zero waste living but lack the space in building your garden compost pile, then considering indoor composting is the way to go, here’s a basic guide to try it out at home:
1. Secure A Container To Store The Compost
Make use of what you have at home and repurpose it. You can use large containers or buckets that have a lid on them. It would be best to seal it so that you won’t get a whiff of its smell. It would be a great idea to add paper and cardboard to the compost, as this can help in giving off an earthy scent instead of the rotten smell.
Furthermore, you may also use plastic bags from your online deliveries or groceries, you can still recycle them and use them for composting. Another choice is to use compostable bags that you can also purchase online. These bags are designed to deteriorate the compost within weeks. In addition, be mindful about what you’ll be adding to the bag, such as sharp objects that can be a cause of holes or rips the plastic.
2. Find Out What You Can And Cannot Add
Composting will require three basic things: greens, browns, and water. The greens will act as nitrogen, browns will keep it moist, and water can provide carbon.
- Browns are paper, sawdust, corn stalks, cardboard, cotton fabric, tree barks, coffee filters, dried leaves, hay, and twigs.
- Greens are coffee grounds, grass clippings, manure, tea bags, eggshells, seaweed, fruits, and vegetable scraps.
- Water is essential in composting. It provides the right amount of moisture and breaks down the compost.
Avoid putting dairy products, like yogurt, cheese, and butter, chemically treated plants, fats, oils, fish, meat, and bones. These are hard to break down, create odor, and attract unwanted pests.
3. Start Composting
Take the plastic bag and add the browns, greens, soil, and water. Secure the bag and tie it. Leave no room for air to get in. And for an added layer of protection just in case it leaks, use a second bag. Place it in a sunny spot. Mix the contents every two weeks but don’t add more to it. Do the composting by batch instead. Check back after two months. If it has a soil-like texture and smells like compost, then it’s good to go.
Otherwise, give it more time to decompose and let it sit for a while. It will help if the food scraps and other waste are crushed into powder form before adding them to the compost. You can put the food scraps in a blender before adding them to the compost.
However, if you prefer containers, you can use that as well. Mix paper, cardboard, and soil and add to the bottom of the container. Add the greens and follow the ratio of 2:1. Browns break down longer than green materials. Get a garden glove and mix. Take the lid and drill some holes—the compost needs to decompose well. Add mesh to avoid fruit flies from getting in. Put the top on and then store it.
4. Add To The Compost To Your Indoor Plants
Once your compost is ready, you can add it to your indoor plants. Doing this can save you money because you don’t need to buy fertilizer anymore. Knowing that chemical fertilizers don’t have the nutrients that compost has makes it more inspiring to pursue composting. To prove it you can experiment and compare the results of the plants with synthetic fertilizer and pesticide to those with compost only. Moreover, using your compost will also serve as a pesticide and prevent any plant disease.
5. Donate Your Compost
If you don’t have any use for it, you can donate the compost. You can give it to local farmers, schools, the community, or your family and friends. You’re not only getting rid of unused compost, but you’re also doing your part in saving the planet.
Composting indoors can help in reducing carbon footprints and minimize emissions of greenhouse gases. It will not only save you money, but it’s also good for your plants. Compost can improve plant growth, get rid of unwanted pests, and keep the plants healthy. And to get you started, take this article as a guide for your Do-it-yourself (DIY) composting project.