Compost is an important supplement that should be fed to your soil and it helps with the growth of the plants and also, restores vitality to depleted soil. This article explains different composting tips which will help feed your soil with the best of nature’s fertilizer.
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1) Select your Compost Method
The composting method chosen should be that which works best for you. The size of your garden and the level of maintenance should be put into consideration when starting a new compost pile.
A compost tumbler is okay for a small garden while for a large garden, you can make use of a large bin or a wire-type bin. Another method is “the cold compost pile” where everything is thrown into a pile in an out-of-the-way place and then, the compost is pulled from the bottom of the pile when needed.
2) Get a Plan for your Food Scrap Collection System
Food scraps without a collection system will end up in the trash. To have a good food scrap collection system, you can make use of a container or a compost collecting bin.
A compost collecting bin is more ideal due to the fact that it has filtered airglow which keeps flies out. It however slows the fermentation process. If using a container having a tight lid, ensure to empty your scraps every few days.
A third option is collecting food scraps in your freezer and this method is common with those living in the city or those who need to transport their compost.
3) Begin 2 Batches of Compost
A number of the batches will be for collecting bee stuff while the other will be for mixing the final compost. This ultimately means one can work in smaller batches to get a faster result while also, avoiding the labor of a large pile.
4) Get your Browns & Greens Balanced
There needs to be a balance between nitrogen and carbon. Nitrogen is regarded as greens and carbon as browns. Too much of either of the two will make the compost smell bad so a balance of the two is necessary. If your pile is not decomposing, add more green material or food scraps.
5) Never compost Bioplastics at Home
Similar to the way rocks break down into smaller rocks which give sand, biodegradable plastics also break down into smaller plastics. This doesn’t mean that biodegradable plastics do not decompose. Of course, they do but they usually need to be composted by industrial systems.
6) Give a Close Watch on Your Compost for Excess Fungus
Fungi are essential for the composting process but excess of it can be harmful most especially mushrooms which happen to be toxic. Mushrooms as well as other fungi will grow in a compost pile if the cellulose (browns) levels are higher.
The growth of these fungi is essential in the process but they must not take over the process. To manage the fungal growth, aerate the compost pile and also, maintain a balance of nitrogen and cellulose materials.
The temperature and moisture levels should be monitored as well. When there are excess fungi in your compost, it means there is an imbalance of the browns and greens.
Browns cool the compost and this is done by promoting airflow. If combined with too much moisture, the compost pile ends up becoming fungal dominant. Such a type of compost is ideal for wooded areas and trees. As for bacterial dominance, it is more ideal for home gardening.
7) Make use of Compost Liberally in your Garden
Apply compost to your garden but for doing moderately. You can apply your compost 2 – 3 inches deep but while doing so, keep it about an inch from the stems of the plants so as not to cause any form of injury to the plant.
Too much compost can be dangerous to your garden so put that into consideration. However, this doesn’t mean that commercial fertilizers are much better than compost.
For commercial fertilizers, you still also need to measure the fertilizers to prevent them from burning your plants. The reason behind this is due to the fact that these commercial fertilizers contain a high concentration of nitrogen but compost can be safe and balanced.
8) Addition of Water
Water is essential for your compost to work. The addition of water to your compost should be done in moderation to avoid soaking your compost. It is not necessary to add water every day but ensure to add water as you add dry items. This helps to ensure that the bin is damp. If your compost is having difficulty retaining water, add a lid on your bin. It helps to reduce evaporation.
9) You can get Compost Activators but Never Waste Resources on them
Compost bins contain microorganisms and enzymes which act as compost activators. Activators help in speeding up the process of composting. Artificial activators which are man-made contain protein and nitrogen which aid the bacteria in the compost bin and assist the microorganisms in breaking down the organic matter.
You can purchase these compost activators but they can be pretty costly. If purchased, all you need to do is to mix a little amount into the water and pour the mixture over your compost.
Mix throughout and wait for about 10 weeks. Due to the fact that compost activators are costly, alfalfa meal can be used as a substitute as it is cheap and works quickly.
10) Make use of Worms
Adding worms to your compost bin is very beneficial to your compost. These worms are lovers of compost bins, eat all the materials added, and turn the waste into compost.
11) Make use of Other Resources to Compost
Materials such as eggshells, shredded leaves, paper bags, e.t.c work great for your compost and can be added to your compost.
12) Get a Compost Log
You will get to have so many things going on both in your garden and at home, so having a compost log can go a long way in helping to keep and as well, track a lot of details.
You can jot down notes about what works and what doesn’t on your compost adventure so as to avoid repeating mistakes. With your compost log, you will be able to refer back to some important details and records, thus, making it easier for you.
Creating a compost pile need not be overwhelming and neither is it difficult. It requires about 6 – 12 months to have a finished compost created. The composting tips explained above will help you in your compost journey and make it a positive one.