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Composting & Mulching

Composting

Composting is a practical and convenient way to handle your household wastes. By encouraging home composting, communities can reduce the costs and environmental problems associated with municipal garbage collection and processing.

Composting can be easier and cheaper than bagging these wastes and best of all it can improve the soil and plants growing in it. If you have a garden, lawn, pot plants or shrubs you have a good use for compost.

By using compost you return organic matter to the soil in a useable form. Organic matter in the soil improves the structure of the soil. Compost particles hold soil together and give it a crumbly texture. In heavy clay soil, compost binds with clay particles to form larger particles to give it a better texture.

Improving your soil is the first step towards improving the health of your plants. Healthy plants help clean our air and conserve our soil, making our home a healthier place to live.

What can go into the Compost bin?

  • Fruit & vegetable scraps
  • Eggshells
  • Tea leaves & coffee grounds
  • Cut flowers
  • Lawn clippings
  • Dead snails, slugs and other insects 
  • Hair from brushes
  • Dust and other floor sweepings
  • Leaves
  • Seaweed
  • Weeds (except those with seeds)
  • Ashes from wood fires
  • Animal manure

It is not recommended to compost the following:

  • Lime
  • Red or fatty meats
  • Detergents
  • Chemicals and insecticides
  • Non vegetable food scraps
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds with seeds
  • Paper
  • Ashes from coal flues
  • Branches or twigs

For further information please view the Composting fact sheet here.

Worm Farming

Worm farming is a simple way of converting food scraps and other organic material into a nutrient rich liquid run-off, and organic fertiliser called worm castings.

After several months, worms need to be separated from their castings which have built up in the worm farm. To prepare for harvesting, do not add new food for two weeks. The worms will bury down and the castings from the top layer can be removed.

Worm castings should be stored for a week or two in a cool location before being applied as a fertiliser.

What can be placed in a worm farm?

  • Fruit & vegetable scraps
  • Tea leaves & bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Paper & cardboard (shredded)
  • Weeds and flowers (excluding seeds)

Do not place the following in a worm farm:

  • Animal droppings
  • Meat & dairy products
  • Fish & seafood products
  • Citrus fruit & onions
  • Nappies
  • Plastic, glass or metals

For further information please view the Worm Farming fact sheet here.

Mulching

 
The purpose of mulch is to create a barrier between the top of the soil and the elements. Mulches are most often used as a means to reduce water loss from the soil to the atmosphere and/or to stifle weed growth, but can and are also used to reduce erosion of topsoil by wind and water. Mulch also helps stabilise soil temperatures in the root zone reducing temperature shock.

If your garden is mulched and you are still having problems with weeds growing through, you have not applied the mulch thick enough. For best results, the mulch needs to be at least 75-100mm (3-4") deep to control weeds.

Mulch can be readily made at home by chipping tree pruning’s and the like with a mulcher. Larger quantities of mulch are available from commercial suppliers within the Mandurah area.

Please note: The City of Mandurah does not provide mulch to residents.