Tag Archives: compost

005: Biointensive Growing in a Permaculture System

Biointensive Growing in a Permaculture System

My Biointensive growing bed, double-dug, amended and shaped, ready for planting.

My Biointensive growing bed, double-dug, amended and shaped, ready for planting.

Before I found out about permaculture, I was studying up on the bio-intensive method of growing food, and was about to dedicate the whole property to a biointensive farming system. As it happened, permaculture swept me off my feet and into a swirl of fascinating ideas and possible directions. As the dust settles now – as my head drifts gently out of the clouds, the bio-intensive idea is still glowing, but not as something separate from permaculture, but as a potentially integral part of it.

002: Integration

 Integration

A fruit tree can do more than just grow fruit!

A fruit tree can do more than just grow fruit!

Sugar cane mulch is great for vegetable beds

Mulching

“Make your soil as healthy as a forest floor, by mulching!”

Mulching is the covering of soil with organic material. It is much the same as what naturally occurs in a forest when leaves fall to the floor. Mulch suppresses weeds and prevents evaporation, which allows the topsoil to remain moist so that earthworms and other creatures can live there.

Benefits:

  • Saves water
  • Builds soil life
  • Suppresses weeds
  • Becomes fertiliser

Inside a Worm Trough - Food is always added to one side

Worm Troughs

“Create masses of worm castings, and breed up masses of worms, with a worm trough!”

A worm trough is a large and long container which allows for a different system of feeding to a worm farm. Worm troughs can breed up a large population of worms who can process a large amount of material. A properly managed worm trough will allow you to access fresh castings any time, and to feed the worms just as easily as with any worm farm.

Benefits:

  • Creates lots of fertiliser
  • Breeds an abundance of worms
  • Easy to manage
  • Cheap to make

Earthworms chillin' in some compost

Encouraging Earthworms

“Earthworms are a gardener’s best friend!”

Earthworms burrow through your soil, digesting organic materials, creating tunnels for air and water to percolate through, and distribute their castings as rich ready fertiliser for your plants. Encouraging them in your garden is important, and it’s easy to do.

Benefits:

  • Aerate soil
  • Break down scraps
  • Create fertiliser
  • Distribute moisture

A cardboard bulk box makes a perfect compost bin!

Cardboard Compost Bins

 

“Get composting quick, easy and free with a cardboard compost bin!”

Cardboard bulk boxes are used by people dealing with bulk fruits and vegetables. They are made of extra thick cardboard, and are a perfect size for composting in. They can withstand weather, and eventually can be composted themselves.

Benefits:

  • Instant compost bin
  • Withstands weather
  • Can be composted
  • Free!
Cardboard Trench Beds - Trench Bed 01

Cardboard Trench Beds

“Got sandy soils? Need an effective garden bed? Improve your soil and save water by making a cardboard trench bed!”

Sandy soils allow water to drain quickly, which washes away nutrients and forces you to water often. Instead of replacing your soil with the fertile soil from elsewhere, take the opportunity to improve the soil you already have! A cardboard trench bed forms an effective semi-permeable barrier below your plants, which traps nutrients and slows drainage. This means less watering, and less fertilising. Organic amendments can freely be introduced into your soil at various depths in the bed to create a deep and thorough profile of great soil.

Benefits:

  • Slows drainage
  • Saves water
  • Saves nutrients
  • Becomes fertiliser

4 types of compost bins. Which type suits your need?

How to Compost

“Turn waste into fertiliser and save the planet, by composting!”

Composting is the breaking down of organic matter, in a controlled environment, into humus, which is rich organic fertiliser (the same kind that takes years to build up in forest systems!). Composting at home is easy, and it can turn waste from your kitchen and your yard, into enough fertiliser to grow all the food you need.

Benefits:

  • Saves the planet!
  • Saves water
  • Recycles waste
  • Creates organic fertiliser
Garden - Sheet Mulching - Sheet Mulch 01

Sheet Mulching

“Sheet mulching is one of the best things you can do for your yard or garden!”

Sheet mulching is the practice of covering an area of land with a blanket layer of biodegradable material, which blocks grass and weeds from getting sunlight, and prevents moisture from evaporating out of the soil. If you have an area of land that you’re not using, or would like to use in future, sheet mulching is the perfect thing to do.

Benefits:

  • Saves water
  • Blocks weeds
  • Covers grass
  • Improves soil

compost tumbler

Tumbler Composting

Make composting waterwise, quick, and easy, with a compost tumbler!

Composting using tumblers is far easier than traditional pile-building techniques, and can be done entirely separately, or in conjunction with pile-building to make large amounts of compost.

Benefits:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Tidy
  • Waterwise