Mulch and compost for your garden

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There are many benefits to using compost and mulch in your garden.

Mulch can:

  • stop topsoil from drying out, reducing water consumption by about 60 per cent
  • prevent weeds and weed seed germination
  • maintain a consistent soil temperature
  • improve soil conditions for the root zone of all plants.

Compost can:

  • add micronutrients to soil
  • improve soil quality.

Buy mulch

Mulch is available to buy at Council's resource recovery facilities.

Six or 10 cubic metre loads can be delivered within the shire.

  • Six cubic metres: $130 delivered within the shire
  • 10 cubic metres: $180 delivered within the shire
  • Per cubic metre, loaded by Council: $30 (note: when staff available)
  • Per cubic metre, self loaded: free for residents

Deliveries are made within 10 days of purchase, you will receive a call at least one day before your delivery date.

Order and pay for your mulch at any of our resource recovery facilities. Call (03) 5422 0333 for more information.

Buy compost

Council offers delivery of Australian standard FOGO compost within the shire.

Delivery sizes:

  • Three cubic metres: $146.30*
  • Six cubic metres: $182.60*

*GST included.

Please note, there may be delivery delays over winter due to unsafe ground conditions. For more information, call (03) 5422 0333 or visit your nearest customer service centre.

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This compost:

  • reduces the need for pesticides and synthetic fertiliser
  • improves the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil
  • should be blended and mixed into soil (1 part compost to 4 parts existing soil)
  • is certified to Australian Standards (including NASAA Certified Organic(PDF, 217KB))
  • is created from the contents of FOGO bins from across the shire (Council can't guarantee that each batch of compost will be the same)

Read more about the process FOGO bins.

Biomix Information Flyer(PDF, 3MB)

 

Compost tips and tricks

What is compost?

Compost is organic material made from broken-down food scraps and garden trimmings and is a great source of micronutrients for your garden.

Items your compost will love:

  • Vegetable and fruit scraps
  • Vegetable oil
  • Garden trimmings and lawn clippings
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Vacuum dust
  • Shredded paper and cardboard
  • Used potting mix
  • Egg shells
  • Flowers

Items your compost won’t love:

  • Meat and bones
  • Dairy products
  • Diseased plants
  • Metals
  • Plastics
  • Glass
  • Animal manures
  • Fat
  • Magazines
  • Large branches
  • Weeds that have seeds or underground stems
  • Sawdust from treated timber
  • Pet droppings
  • Synthetic chemicals 

Why compost?

Composting allows you to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill. This reduces demand for new landfills, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and prevents organic liquids in landfill leaching into nearby waterways.

Mature compost can be used in your garden to improve soil quality and garden vitality. The compost releases rich nutrients into the soil and helps retain the soil’s moisture, meaning you won’t have to water the garden as often!

Another great bonus of composting and using it in your home garden is that it helps absorb and filter runoff which protects streams from erosion and pollution.

How to compost

Follow these steps to create your own home compost environment:

  1. Choose a suitable location for your bin. The warmer the location, the better it will perform.
  2. Add a layer of dry material such as straw, sticks and dry leaves.
  3. Begin to add green waste such as freshly cut laves and kitchen scraps. Keep this layer a similar thickness to the dry layer below. 
  4. Add an additional dry material layer and then start adding your food scarps and garden clippings. 
  5. The compost should feel damp. If it is too wet, add dry materials like paper, hay or leaves. If it is too dry, hose it down a little and turn the compost until all the material is damp. 
  6. Remember to turn your compost every few weeks to keep it aerated. 
  7. Keep your compost covered to retain heat and moisture and to deter vermin. 
  8. It will take several months for you to be able to harvest the rich dark humus soil from your compost. 

Smelly compost? Unwanted guests?

A healthy compost bin should never smell bad. A bad smelling compost bin suggests that the system is too wet or does not have enough air. Handy tips for getting rid of the smell:

  • Add brown stuff (dry leaves, paper, cardboard, egg shells)
  • Improve drainage with twigs at the bottom of the pile, or line the bin with newspaper
  • Turn compost regularly for air flow

Some guests that you don’t want to see in your compost can include: maggots, mice, rats and cockroaches. Here are some handy tips for keeping them away:

  • Place your compost bin on top of a wire mesh
  • Cover all access points
  • Turn regularly to avoid rats nesting
  • Cover each layer of food with soil
  • Avoid items like animal droppings, meat, dairy, bread and grains

How a FOGO bin complements a home compost system

A lot of everyday items can be composted commercially but cannot be composted at home. If you have a home compost system, keep composting items such as egg shells and food scraps. For all other food and organic materials such as meat, bones and dairy, put these in your FOGO bin for commercial composting. 

How is a worm farm different to a compost bin?

Vermicomposting is a subcategory of composting that uses live worms to break down organic waste. Worm farms are quite self-sufficient and will survive off fresh organic waste that is placed into the bin. The worms then produce castings (worm poo!) that can be used as a rich fertiliser on your garden.

Worm farms can be as big or as little as you like them, although you will need 1,000 worms to begin with. 

What happens to your FOGO?

Everything you put in your FOGO bin is turned into compost and used to enrich soils on regional farms and in local parks and gardens.

All food and garden bin waste collected in the Macedon Ranges is sent to Biomix Premium Composts in Stanhope.

When each load arrives at the Biomix facility, they are checked for foreign contamination. Contaminants are removed (such as glass, metal, plastic), then it is transferred to composting vessels to allow composting to occur under controlled conditions.

Once in the composting vessel, bacteria breaks down the sugars and other readily degradable materials which causes a rapid rise in temperature. The heat rises to somewhere between 50 and 70°C killing any insects, weeds, weed seeds, fungi, viruses and pathogenic bacteria that might be in the compost.

This temperature is maintained until all of the readily degradable organics have been broken down.

After 10-14 days, the compost is taken out of the composting vessels and put in open windrows. This exposes it to the wind and is regularly turned to increase oxygen and reduce temperatures. Water is added to help the compost mature and stabilise.

After 12 weeks the compost is checked for any large pieces which are returned to the composting process. The ready to use compost is then distributed to farmlands, parks and gardens.