Find out how to purchase our affordable worm farms, compost bins and Bokashi buckets. By producing compost from your garden clippings and food scraps you will improve your garden, save money, reduce waste and greenhouse gases.
Composting, worm farming and Bokashi bins
You can purchase affordable worm farms from our Customer Service Centres in Northcote, Reservoir and Preston.
Worm farm (colour) $75
Worm farm (black) $80
Compost aerators $19*
Bokashi bin $80
All prices include GST.
*Compost aerators can be used for your home compost bin. Please note, we do not sell compost bins at our Customer Service Centres.
Compost bins are a good choice for people with large yards as they can handle greater volumes of organic waste. However, they do require maintenance. Material in compost bins should be turned regularly to maintain air flow. This will help the micro-organisms to break down material faster.
Compost requires a balance of inputs to ensure the organic matter breaks down effectively. It needs a balance of:
- Carbon - dry leaves, straw, paper, sawdust, shredded branches, dry grass
- Nitrogen - Food scraps, fresh grass, manures, blood and bone, seaweed, comfrey, lucerne
- Oxygen - introduced by turning the heap once a week while the material is new
- Water - to keep the heap moist and covered
- Correct size of particles and heap (small particles, large heap)
Compost bins are available in a range of shapes and sizes from online retailers and hardware stores. Further Information:
Worm farms are a good choice for people with small yards or balconies. With your worm farm you can produce rich soil (castings) and liquid fertiliser (worm juice) in a small area. Worm farming uses selected worms (typically Tiger Worms, Red Wrigglers and Indian Blues) to break down kitchen and garden scraps.
- Choose a cool shaded spot for your worm farm.
- Add composting worms, such as Tigers, Reds and Blues to your worm farm as they live, work and breed well in the rich, moist, organic environment of your worm farm.
- Keep your worm farm moist, warm and protected from the hot summer sun
- If possible, shred kitchen and garden waste into smaller pieces
- Cover the worms with a small black plastic sheet in cool weather. In hot weather a damped hessian, newspaper is more desirable.
- Always replace the lid
- Castings can be placed in the garden around plants, in pot plants, around fruit trees, native trees and vegetables.
What you can put in your worm farm?
- Fruit and vegetable scraps and peelings
- Plate scrapings (cooked vegetables, pasta, rice, cheese, stewed fruit, etc).
- Hair clippings
- Shredded, soaked newspaper and cardboard
- Vacuum cleaner dust
- Coffee grounds and tea bags
Coffee grounds are a source of nitrogen and are a great addition to your compost as well. Add together with your kitchen scraps and make sure you layer with about one third carbon based materials such as dried leaves or clean wood shavings. Coffee grounds also make good worm food. Some people like to add coffee grounds directly to their garden as fertiliser. They can also be sprinkled around seedlings to deter slugs and snails.
Two Darebin cafes are running a trial giving away coffee grounds to the public. This versatile material is now available FREE from Tasties Cafe, 356 High Street Preston (Phone 9470 2260) and the Kiln Cafe, 85 Clyde Street Thornbury (Phone 0403 089 408). Call to check first then bring your own container and let staff know before helping yourself.
The purpose of mulch is to conserve water, improve the health and fertility of the soil and to reduce weeds.
- Mulch adds organic matter and nutrients to the soil and reduces your watering needs
- Mulch also helps keep your garden weed free by preventing weed seeds from contacting soil
- Apply layers of mulch up to 8cm deep after winter rains to retain moisture in soil
- It is environmentally preferable to use mulch containing coarse particles of wood, leaves or straw which have been recycled rather than pebbles
- Keep mulch away from tree trunks and plant stems to prevent rot
- Unless the mulch is rich in nitrogen (for example, Green Lucerne) it may be necessary to add some nitrogen such as blood and bone to your soil. Most mulch will take up nitrogen as it decomposes