How to Make the Best Compost
A pile of compost is perfect for lazy people who still wants a garden. If you have built one properly, you won’t have to take care of it that much.
“Composting is essential.” You probably heard this before. But if you’re new to gardening, composting is the recycling of organic wastes. It’s the act of using organic materials to stabilize their soluble and more volatile nutrients and speed up the formation of soil humus.
The discharge of nutrients is slow when you add a quarter inch of compost for every season. The dallying release is perfect for the development of the water retention and suppression of disease in your soil.
All right! I’m sure you’re convinced to know how to compost now. Let’s start with the elements. Later on, I’ll give you a few composting reminders.
The ingredients. Everyone wants a compost pile that requires low maintenance so it’s important to combine the right ingredients. A mixture of green and brown plant matter with moisture would make the wanted bacteria rejoice. For “high-nitrogen” green matter, you can add grass clippings or kitchen waste. For brown add-ins, you can have dry leaves, wood chips, even shredded newspaper!
If you have a simple bin, I recommend you pile up the ingredients on the ground first. For desirable airflow, with chunky materials like stems or small branches. Then add the brown and green materials to balance the moisture and generate air pockets.
In the sheet composting method, you have to alternate greens with browns. They can be directly applied in two layers to the bed. Alternating them is advisable because the moist of the greens will be in direct contact with the soil first. The good bacteria will then consume them. Next, the brown matter will serve as a cover, keeping the first layer from drying out and losing its volatile elements.
Another method you can use is vermicomposting. It’s the use of earthworms and turning nutrient-dense matters like green crop residues, food wastes, and manures into forms that can be used by plants. Worm castings give nourishment to plant roots and contain helpful microbes that can boost the community of soil organism.
The container. The first thing you’ll have to deal with is the container. Fancy, carefully detailed and designed containers aren’t major. I mean, you’ll be placing compost, not some special hygienic material. So long as it keeps all the ingredients intact to allow the benefic bacteria to break down the plant matter and heat it up, then that container is doing its job correctly.
Containers of compost can be fixed or rotating. Turning their contents from time to time should be done to allow oxygen to be absorbed. Doing this will also blend the decaying materials.
Fixed bins can simply be a wooden crate or a ventilated cage made from fence sections. If you’re going to stick with using fixed bins, place the pile where the sun can reach it. Heat by the sun is needed as much as possible. Of course, decomposition can still occur if it isn’t in direct sunlight (say under a shade all day long), but it’ll be like an old, sauntering turtle—slow, particularly when freezing temperatures take over in autumn.
On the other hand, rotating bins are recommended to those who want to speed up the process combining the ingredients. Once it’s done, you can fill it with two-thirds of scraps, moist it with water, and rotate it every few days. You can also locate them in direct sunlight. These easy-to-turn containers retain heat and infuse oxygen better, making the process faster. Choosing one should rely on how big your yard is, how much you have to dispose, and how fast you need the product.
Whatever type you choose, remember that your bin’s priority is to reserve moisture and heat.
The chores. In order to make the best compost, you must do a few chores. Here they are:
Put materials on a regular basis. When you add green materials, remember to add brown ones too. This is for the good bacteria. You have to feed them. Giving them something to devour will provide sufficient insulation for them as well, keeping the process warm.
To ensure the materials are combined and are working as a team, you should turn the pile with a compost aerator (a pitchfork will do) once a week or once every two weeks. It should be a little damp. To know this, you’ll have to make your hand dirty by grabbing a handful. You don’t want it to be too damp because it’ll be a mucky mess. You also wouldn’t want it to have so little moisture because that’ll slow the process of decomposition.
You can make use of several great activators to jumpstart your new pile. You can fold in a fee shovelfuls of soil rich in organic matter and allow the natural process to take control.
Never compost with anything containing fat, grease, or oil.
Don’t even think about using diseased plant materials!
Dog and cat feces don’t make good compost nor do sawdust and chips from pressure-treated wood.
Do not use weeds that go to seeds.
Never use fish, dairy, or meat. They’ll attract pests like dogs, mice, and raccoons. If you feel like they don’t deserve to be thrown in the terrifying landfill, you can make use of brilliant systems that turn them into plant superfoods.