x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Gardening the green way

Household composting can be a great way to provide what your UAE soil often lacks.

Household composting, to many people, just seems gross and sounds like too much work.

I get it - especially as a person who lives in a flat without so much as a balcony. But for gardeners, nothing could be better than taking the time to set up a workable system that will produce a steady supply of nutrient-rich compost to provide what UAE soil often lacks. You get a great product, for free, that will have more micro and macro nutrients than anything synthetically produced can offer - and one that releases them into soil at a more natural pace, to boot.

Gayapri Raghwa, who works in educational awareness at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, estimates that food accounts for 30 to 40 per cent of waste generated in the emirate. So at the same time you get to smugly tackle a major environmental issue by reducing waste - literally in your own back yard. If you have the outdoor space you can come up with your own system of bags, piles or containers. I promise it is not difficult and, once it's up and running, you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

Or you can opt for something a little handier, faster and odour free - such as Bokashi (www.bokashidubai.com), an indoor system that turns regular old food scraps into organic soil conditioner in three to five weeks. Another tip from a plant-loving and eco-minded friend is to use as much "grey water" as possible on the garden, meaning gathering used water from the household, whether from laundry, dish washing, leaky pipes or even running the tap to get cold or hot.