7 FREE Tricks to Grow Food With Limited Compost, by Huw Richards

Jeremie Litzler
  • Permaculture
  • Gardening
  • Huw Richards
  • Compost
About 3 min

Having enough compost can challenge any gardener. Let’s what Huw what it suggests to do.

Comfrey growing near a compost heap
Comfrey produces a lot of material to create compost. Grow it today! Credits: image taken from Huw Richards’s vlog

Thanks to Huw Richards for sharing his wisdom and knowledge! I wrote the following notes watching the video published on Huw Richards’s channel. You can watch it using this YouTube linkopen in new window.

Trick 1: Consider a break year

This is a year you don’t put any compost on an area.

It isn’t something you would do to start with, but rather you use this trick down the line after a few years of mulching.

Trick 2: Dedicate an area to crop that doesn’t need a lot of nutrients

For example, legumes, like filed beans, adapt well to poorer soil.

Trick 3: Compost directly on the beds

When you apply compost, you add carbon, nitrogen, microbes and nutrients.

But simply said, compost is old plants decomposed.

This is what Huw calls Chop, Move and Drop.

Comfrey at the foot of a tomato plant
Easy and simple. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog
For example, if you grow comfrey (which is a great and easy green material you need in your garden), chop it down, take it and apply it over the beds.

Trick 4: Use grass clippings before it turns to compost

A garden bed with grass clippings applied
Here, Huw applied fresh grass clippings to a bed of tomato plants. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

It’s like trick 3, but, in this case, you need to apply it in a thin layer (2 cm to 3 cm) to avoid rotting.

About grass clippings

Be careful to put on grass clipping to avoid:

Sowing a lawn…

  • Huw Richards

It helps retaining moisture to keep the plants and the soil life alive.

About slugs

If you have a lot of slugs, use 1 cm layer of grass clippings. Otherwise, they will hide under it and feast on your vegetables.

Trick 5: JADAM microbial solution

You will find the images of the recipe in this short vlog Do This With Potatoes To BOOST Soil & Plant Healthopen in new window and goes as follows.

The tools:

  • a square piece of fabric

The ingredients:

  • 2 small boiled potatoes
  • a handful of leaf mold
  • 5 g of sea salt

Instructions:

  • cut the piece of fabric
  • smash the potatoes on the fabric
  • add the leaf mold
  • tie the fabric into a sachet
  • put in an opaque container
  • pour and knead the sachet with rain water (or soft water)
  • add the salt
  • mix well
  • cover

After 1 or 4 days, depending on the weather, you will see bubbles creating, which means microbes multiply in the solution.

To use the solution,

  • take 1:20 of the solution mixed with rain water (or soft water).
  • apply it to the garden

It provides:

  • a big boost to your plants
  • a kick-start to the microbial activity
  • and a help to break down the material into your soil.

If you apply the solution once a month in the poorest beds, it’s going to make a lot of difference.

Trick 6: Trench planting

It consists in making a trench in which you will dump kitchen waste.

Then you cover it with a little bit of soil and plant whatever you need.

As the plant grows, the kitchen waste will be already decomposing and it will provide to the plant the nutrients from that degradation.

Trick 7: Plant fermentation

Someone fills a plastic bottle with liquid from a barrel filled with herbs
Fermented liquid solutions bring loads of benefits. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

You can make some from:

  • stinging nettle
  • grass clipping
  • swede
  • and many more

To make it, check his details vlogs on the topic:

Leaf mold on top of some green leaves soaked in water
Leaf mold gathered locally will contain microbes that suits best in your garden. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog