Do you want to make compost at home for use in your garden? The process is easier than you think, and you can greatly benefit from the green manure. Despite its messiness, and sometimes the odor, compost is the ‘black gold’ you need for successful gardening.
Compost is the best natural garden conditioner. The rich humus is essential for the nourishment of your plants and to keep the soil well moisturized. The microbes in compost help to aerate the soil and maintain its consistency. Even better, compositing can help you deal with household waste.
Instead of worrying about waste disposal in this festive season, you will be thanking the heavens that you have what you need for successful gardening. Compost manure is also very environmentally friendly and the safest option for your kitchen garden.
Composting entails layering of organic waste materials and a bit of soil to create a mix that turns into humus. Sounds easy? Yes, but it is a step by step process which requires you to get everything right. So stick with me as we explore further.
Collect yard and household waste
The ingredients you need for composting are readily available in your home. Look at the yard waste after summer cleaning, or after trimming your hedges.
Usually, you will have straw, uprooted weeds and drying leaves. Don’t burn these wastes. Then again your trash bins contain vegetable peels, spoilt fruits, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea leaves, newspaper, shredded paper, corn cobs, stalks and other decomposable stuff. Take all that trash and turn it into gold.
Mix it down proportionately
Once you have collected enough materials to create a pile height of at least 3 feet, you need to mix it down correctly. You need a balanced combination of both brown and green matter. Green matter here includes kitchen waste and yard waste. Brown ingredients include wood chips, ash, dry leaves, and sawdust among others.
The brown matter serves to absorb the extra moisture your compost might have, so that that it doesn’t turn smelly. However, if it looks so brown and dry, add more green material. Let’s not forget that including meat and dairy wastes in your compost will attract pests and rodents. Do that only with an outdoor compost.
Water the mixture
After mixing the ingredients, you need to add some water to keep it moisturized. But remember not to add too much water, the microorganisms that enable decomposing will get waterlogged and die. You can tell that your compost is perfectly decomposing if it is warm. Measure with a thermometer, or just dip your arm in it to feel the temperature.
Turn the compost and add new material
Stir your materials at least once a week so that it gets enough supply of oxygen. Stirring up the pile will help it decompose faster. This is also an efficient way to keep the concoction from stinking. When you notice that center is warmer than the rest of the pile, it means it is time to stir thoroughly.
Adding new material when you turn the pile give the microbe’s fresh food. The excited bacteria will work even more and enable a faster decomposition. You can also use aerators and activators to speed up the cooking process.
Time to nourish your garden
You will know that you have succeeded in composting when the pile becomes dry, dark brown, and crumbly. It shouldn’t be giving off any heat or odor for that matter. Apply about 5 inches of the compost to your flower beds or kitchen gardens before planting the seeds. Stand by, and after a short time, you will have vibrant and healthy looking plants to show off.
Tips to remember
· Pet droppings and animal wastes attract pests and can make your environment unhealthy.
· Paper wastes whether newspaper or plain white paper is very essential. They contain carbon that’s needed to feed the microbes. Shred all the paper wastes and add to the pile.
· Ashes also work well as compost ingredients but use them wisely. You don’t want the mixture turning too alkaline; the microbes won’t survive.
· Your finished compost shouldn’t look anything like the materials you used.
· A successfully decomposed compost should be half the volume of the materials you used.
Smack! Now you know how to make pure compost from wastes at home. Happy gardening.
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