Monty Don: Gardening expert shares how to propagate cuttings
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Compost helps plant growth by balancing soil density and providing it with the nutrients it needs. It can also help to suppress plant diseases and pests.Buying it from garden centres can be incredibly expensive, which is why The Greenhouse People have shared exactly how to make compost at home for free as well as sharing other ways gardeners can garden more sustainably.
The experts said: “While it may not seem like it, food waste can contribute significantly to carbon emissions.
“Six percent of global greenhouse emissions come from food loss and waste.
“But creating your own compost means you not only reduce food waste, but you also create nutrient-rich compost that is great for your garden without having to buy a thing.”
Compost can be made using food waste, garden trimmings and manure.
Selected pet waste and bedding as well as paper and card can also be used.
The Greenhouse People added: “The easiest way to start is by collecting all your kitchen scraps in a container with a lid.
“Once you have started to collect this food waste, you can begin a compost pile on a patch of bare ground and add layers of twigs and straws.
“You can then alternate adding moist ingredients, such as food scraps or tea bags, with dry ingredients like leaves or wood ashes.”
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Once the pile has been created, the experts suggested adding manure to it.
This is said to provide essential nitrogen to help kickstart the composting process.
The experts continued: “Cover it with any material you have on hand to help keep it moist.
“You can water the heap occasionally and turn it every couple of weeks to help aerate the patch.”
Turning the heap helps to add air and is “necessary for composting to occur”, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
The heap should also be kept moist in dry weather and turning it will help to assess the moisture level.
Garden compost can take between six months and two years to reach maturity.
To help garden more sustainably, the experts also suggested different ways gardeners can get rid of slugs and snails.
Slug pellets are now banned in the UK and so “natural remedies” which “don’t hurt the environment” should be used instead.
The Greenhouse People said: “While many insects have great benefits in your garden, some insects like aphids and slugs are not a welcome addition.
“Pesticides can be essential for keeping your plants in tip-top shape, but they’re not always the best for the environment since they often contaminate water and soil.
“There are a number of household ingredients you can use, including garlic, baking soda, hot peppers and dishwashing soap, to combat pests in your garden.
“You can keep these ingredients mixed up in a spray bottle and spray plants when necessary.”
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