Composting and Worm Farming

Composting and ‘vermicomposting’ (worm farming) recycle garden waste into food for your garden. They also reduce the amount of organic waste sent to landfill, where in most cases it would breakdown with a greater contribution to the greenhouse effect.

Nearly half of the waste from the average Australian home is garden waste, vegetable scraps and other food waste that could otherwise be composted or put in a worm farm.

Things to consider when composting

  • Composting can be as simple as staring a pile of fruit and veggie scraps and garden clippings in the corner of the garden. Compost bins help to contain compost piles, making the garden neater and helping to keep out small scavenging animals. They also help to keep the heat generated by microbes in the compost pile, speeding up the process. Compost bins are available from hardware and variety stores and garden centres. Look for those made from recycled plastic.
  • Good things to put in your compost bin are fruit and vegetable scraps, lawn clippings, coffee grounds, tea bags, cut flowers, shredded newspaper and cardboard, autumn leaves, vacuum cleaner dust and small amounts of chook, sheep or horse manure.
  • Don’t put dairy products, meat, bread, fats or cat, dog or human poo into compost bins.
  • Worm farms can process plant waste as an alternative to compost bins and are well suited to small spaces. You can keep a worm farm in a laundry or on an apartment balcony. They use the food munching power of earthworms to process food waste. Worm farms can process most fruit and vegetable scraps and will do so faster if the scraps are finely chopped. However, worms don’t like onion, citrus fruit or raw potato. You can also use a dedicated worm farm to deal with dog droppings.
  • Mature compost, worm juice (the liquid runoff from worm farms) and worm castings provide free natural fertiliser for your garden that will provide nutrients, improve the soil texture and its ability to retain water.