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( Article Type: Explanation )

Composting is the decomposition of plant and other organic remains to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that will enrich soil. Composting is one of the natural alternatives to using synthetic fertilisers. Compost needs air, moisture, worms and microbes. It is common practice to mix in ‘browns’ (dry dead plant materials such a straw leaves, and wood chips or sawdust) and ‘greens’ (fresh green materials such as green weeds, fruit and vegetable scraps and peelings, coffee grounds and tea bags, some horse manure, etc.).

The ‘browns’ and ‘greens’ should be mixed together, and slightly moistened, making sure that there is plenty of air circulating. Within a couple of weeks fresh compost will have formed, which can either be dug into the soil, used as mulch or top dressing, or it can be combined in equal parts with water and used as a ‘compost tea’ as a quick boost for indoor plants.