Gardening (A post from another defunct blog I did 3 years ago)

October 26, 2006

How to make good compost? The whole process takes about 6~8 weeks, requires patience, dedication, a nice yard, perhaps some trees, space and other factors like rat-free environment etc, Cut your own grass!

But I hereby lay out strategies, perhaps a future guide to apartment dwellers with pretentions to “tend gardens” :

1) Find space in your life for this compost. You live in a building, with many common areas, whatever you do with your potentially rotting shit will potentially screw up relationships with your neighbours.

Talk to the janitor about your plans and see if he could give you a dedicated space somewhere near the barbecue pit but far from the pool.

2) Get a nice, low compost box, or a plastic bin. Large surface area is nice, and I think you’d need at least 30 cm depth to this thing. Find a piece of cloth to drape over the whole thing. Some pegs would be nice.

3) I recycle my glass, metals, paper and plastics. Here in my city it is virtually impossible do this properly. There is no legislation where you are forced to recycle, no fines to pay. Even if there is, it would be virtually impossible to police. Moreover, society has more to worry about than to recycle baby diapers or out-of-style paraphernalia.

but recycling of cardboard boxes, those cardboard tubes out of toilet paper, eggs boxes should be easy if you have the proper motivation, in this case your objective is a world class compost heap. Cut them in litttle pieces. Keep.

4) Talk to the gardener downstairs about giving you some fresh grass cuttings – come to think of it – you might not need to ask.

5) Weeds. Do some weeding while you’re out jogging. These are good activators. Some fallen leaves while you are at it.

6) Fruit and vegetable scraps. Save and put in fridge (or go downstairs and dump in heap).

7) Tea bags and coffee grounds.

8) If you can get your hand on REAL SHIT like chicken or bird droppings, it’ll be excellent. NEVER dog or cat litter. There are good shit and bad shit, dogs and cats, or refuse from your own child, is bad shit.

9) DON’t use newspapers or meat or fish or leftovers from the dinner table.

10) Line them nicely in the compost box. Put twigs or branches in the bottom layer to promote circulation of air. Websites like this one teaches good stuff, but if you are like me, a bit slow and requires picture cards to remind yourself of life’s important things, just remember leaf-type things one layer, organic household stuff next layer, then leaf-type things, and so on.

11) Wait 6~8 weeks, occasionally you may want to top up the heap, which would diminish in size over this period of time. You’d want to mix well, soggy and dry parts. In the very end, you would get earthy type stuff in a nice rich earthy colour, with a nice earthy smell. Composting is thus complete. If you’re not in a hurry, wait to mature (1~2 months) like fine wine. Now you’d have enough to ingratiate yourself to the whole building for the entire year.

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One Response to “Gardening (A post from another defunct blog I did 3 years ago)”

  1. Gail Hoyos Says:

    I have enjoyed your blog. Please take a look at mine about gardening


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