No garden is complete without a Backyard compost heap. It’s a great place to get rid of your old lawn clippings, leaves, shredded branches and cardboard and newspaper. Its always a good idea to work with 2 or 3 separate compost heaps. While one is full and in the process of becoming compost, the other is being filled. I like to use the third bin just in case the second one is full and there first one is not quiet ready.

In a small or domestic backyard it is not impossible to have more compost than you can use. Fortunately there are many more uses for compost than just adding it to your veggie patch.

Some of the ways I use Compost around the home include:

1. Foliar Spray - Compost can be soaked in a bucket of water and the liquid used as a foliar spray for vegetables, annual flowers and shrubs. The best time to spray is in the evening when showers are forecast. This will ensure no residue dries on the leaves of the plants. If showers are not likely, water the plants an hour or so after applying the liquid compost. Depending on the method of application you may need to use a coarse spray watering can or you could strain the liquid compost using an old cotton sheet or similar rag. The leftover compost can be emptied under a tree or shrub.

2. Houseplant tonic – Using the same method used for a foliar spray, liquid compost makes an ideal tonic for houseplants. Avoid spraying on the foliage inside, as it can be messy. Dilute the concentrate at around a 10:1 ratio. Approximately 100ml to 1litre of water.

3. Compost makes an excellent potting mix for houseplants and outdoor plants in pots. The solid waste left after making the foliar spray or tonic would be ideal as a potting mix base. This should be dried for a day or so before using. The compost should be sifted through a 10mm screen before using. To aid drainage I use a simple perlite cat litter available from the supermarket. Its cheap and ideal for this type of use as it also absorbs moisture while aerating the mix.

4. The coarse screenings left after making your potting mix above can be used as a mulch on an annual flower bed or in the Veggie bed around beet crops like spinach and silverbeet.

5. Worm Farms – Yard compost can make an ideal bedding for a worm farm. It can also be used as a replacement food source if your worms will need a feed while you are away.

6. Compost should also be added to a vegetable garden before digging it up for the first seasonal planting. More can then be placed around vegetables as mulch as they begin to grow.

Have fun finding your own uses for compost around the home. If you find you still have too much, give it away to your fiends.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites... for Organic Gardening Articles and Information - Subscribe to Eric's Organic Newsletter. for Articles on Vermicomposting and Worm Farming.

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