Organic garden products - compost, seeds and plants - for free!
Free organic compost, free organic plants, free organic vegetables, free flowers and free organic seeds are available to us all - we just don't know it!
Follow me over the next couple of weeks and I will show how you can achieve lots of garden produce for, yes, free. All it takes is a bit of savvy, some patience and a wee bit of effort - and of course, a passion for gardening!
Today's topic is Free, effortless ORGANIC garden compost.
Wherever you are in the world, the chances are that there are trees in your surrounding area - be it in your garden, a local park or a friend or neighbours yard.
All you need are fallen leaves from these trees to make some wonderful silky, rich home made compost - organically! Collect fallen leaves from your garden, or ask your neighbour if you can rake up theirs (they're hardly going to say no as it is saving them a job).
Fill a big black bag with these leaves, tie and then double bag. Be sure to add a tiny bit of water and if you have it, a sprinkling of blood and bone or lime. Put it in the corner of the garden, your garage, shed or patio and just leave it alone for 3-4 months.
There are lots of companies now offering organic gardening supplies, and topsoil suppliers who will also deliver cheap topsoil. If your needs are huge then sure, the chances are that you will need to buy compost, but if you don't need much, or simply would like to produce some rich topsoil without having to create a compost pile, then this is the method for you. If none of these reason apply to you, why not just do it anyway - the worst result you will get is beautiful FREE topsoil/compost to be used as a dressing in some garden pots or on your plots (depending on how much you make) - gotta be a good result huh?!
While we're on the subject, if you are really keen to get your hands dirty and make lots of compost and you can spare a metre in your garden, why not build yourself a home made compost bin or compost container? Organic compost is not cheap although some companies now offer very competitive rates, so check them out too!
Remember that you can also build a compost bin for free too! Most refuse dumps give away free wood - this is wood that is either surplus to requirements or cannot be mulched, or sold as firewood (for free firewood, see one of my other listings). Lots of this wood is useable to you - you will find off-cuts and end of use pallets amongst other things.
Now your home made organic compost bin does not need to look pretty (although ours does look quite sharp as Sweep is a bit of a perfectionist) so don't be too fussy - after all, your materials are free! The quickest and easiest way to build your free compost bin is to grab yourself three pallets. Up-end them, and nail them together in a right-angular u-shape and just nail a few lengths of additional wood along the front open part, making sure to leave some gaps between the planks. Hey presto! You've got yourself a free organic compost bin - Ta Da!
Simply lay an inch or so of twigs and leaves (all free) in the base of your bin and then get recycling with all your garden and kitchen waste. Try and be a little conscious of layering what you are throwing on, and throw some lovely manure in there if you can get your hands on it. Free manure is also something that I will be talking about in the not too distant future so be sure to pop in on me every now and again. Throw on lawn clippings too but make sure you aerate it as you lay it on and give your pile a good turning in 3-4 weeks if you are adding lot of grass.
If you are unsure as to what you can actually put into your compost, then just be know that anything that has been "alive" can be composted. However, you should not ideally add cooked bones as these will not break down for many many years. If you don't want to attract vermin, then keep meat out too. All your paper and cardboard is fine to add, but you will need to either tear it all up or shred it if you can - that way it will break down much quicker and easier , making sure that you don't add it big piles.
If pests and vermin are an issue in your area, then pop a lid on your bin or just throw an extra pallet on the top as your lid ( we actually use large heavy plastic pallets as our compost lids (also free)) but a few friends have hinged on a solid bit of ply to completely enclose everything.
Hopefully this has helped or inspired a few people, but if building your own or making home made organic compost is not your thing, then check out some reputable suppliers. These days you can buy compost containers or compost containers relatively cheaply. Or if you are new to all this and are just contemplating getting started, maybe buy yourself a book on organic gardening for beginners - or you could just follow my listings and check out other posts online - after all, that is also free!
Organic gardening is certainly the way to go, after all, being in the great outdoors is all about nature and nature itself is organic. It's great for our sense of well-being, our bodies our families and our world and environment. Most importantly, it's the safest and most logical bet for our future.
So go on, give it a go, if you're going to buy, buy organic, but if you've got the inclination, have a crack at organic gardening and create a home made compost bin or just rake up some leaves and bag them - it's not cheap topsoil . IT'S FREE!
Yay for free home made compost, organic compost and good ole Mother Nature!