I have been showing my parents how to compost the small amount of organic waste they produce. Usually, they throw food scraps in the bin but as it is only collected once every two weeks they have odour and maggot problems.
The small amount of grass clippings and weeds they put in their garden waste bin sits around for weeks, also with odour problems. Unbeknownst to my parents they are also giving money away as the council composts the garden waste and sells it back to my parents in the form of bagged compost.
In previous articles I showed people how to make composting bins but that requires a lot of space. For people with small gardens you can compost on the fly by using mulching techniques.
Mulching is nature's way of composting organic waste. When leaves fall from trees they rot and are pulled down into the soil by worms. Nature doesn't need to make tidy piles of waste, it just mulches wherever things fall.
My parents are prolific tea drinkers so the kitchen is full of used tea bags by the end of the week. They also eat a fair amount of eggs and vegetables so there are plenty of egg shells and vegetable peelings that go into the bin and attract flies.
What I do with this waste is just to throw it between the rows of vegetables. The tea bags are broken open so the tea leaves are washed into the soil when it rains. Eggs are gradually mashed up when the soil is worked.
The only vegetable peelings I wouldn't put directly in the soil are potato peelings which will start to grow no matter how small the sliver of peeling. Instead, potato peelings just go into a black plastic bag for a short while. Just long enough to kill off any potential growth.
Large weeds I put under a lawnmower. Just line them up and go over them as you do the grass. The grass/weed mix can then go between your rows of vegetables as mulch. Anything with seeds on can go into black plastic bag with the potato peelings, just long enough to kill off potential growth.
If I have an excess of this grass/weed mulch then I make a small pile in the soil and turn it regularly in the soil until more mulch is needed. You don't need a big compost heap if you are constantly mulching.
To help aid the breakdown of my mulch pile I pour urine over it. This speeds up the breakdown process and adds nitrogen to the mix, a valuable fertiliser. You can get urine from the usual outlet, we all have one.
My parents thought that all the waste they produce would make a huge stinking pile in their garden but try as they may, they cannot find it. All the mulch is now part of the soil and the garden just looks the same as it ever did. The garden waste bin is empty, the household waste bin a little less smelly. Well, we don't want to be feeding rodents with mulched meat, fish and bones.