With an increased focus on global warming, many people are looking for new ways to “go green.” Composting is an environmentally-friendly method of creating nutrient-rich and fertile soil for the benefit of your plants.
A compost bin acts as a central place where you recycle your yard and kitchen waste. But just how do you go about composting?
The following are some of the tips to help you get started:
- Create a heap: look for an open area with good drainage preferably with partial sun and shade. The site should also be readily accessible – you don’t want someplace you will be required to walk too far from your kitchen – it’s just not fun.Your heap shouldn’t be too small or too large if it is going to be effective. Typically, it shouldn’t be below 3ft or more than 5ft in height and width. Smaller heaps will have a hard time heating up while larger ones may hold too much water and prove a challenge when you need to turn it.Also, avoid concrete surfaces and chose bare ground to support microbes and aeration.
- Adding materials: contrary to popular belief, not everything organic from your kitchen is compost material. Avoid meat, oils, animal fat and dairy products. Pet feces, human waste, diseased plants, cookie material and coal ash should never feature anywhere as they are likely to act as magnets for pests and diseases.Add grass clippings and other greens from your kitchen together with carbon browns. The best practice is to start with carbon browns such as twigs at the bottom and then move on to green materials. You can add animal manure to the heap to speed up the heating process. This will also serve as a nitrogen source for the microbes.And another thing, worms adore coffee grounds. Sprinkle some on the heap for the wriggly buddies in there, and they will appreciate it by working harder.
- Turning: moisture from the greens and rain may provide the necessary water for efficient decomposition. You are free to water it if the heap seems too dry. However, the pile should never be soggy. Turn it more frequently to dry it if you’re experiencing generous periods of rainfall.It is good practice to keep turning the pile as it helps with aeration and eventual decomposition.When ready, the compost should smell like earth, like rich soil in the rain. You should not recognize any of the greens or carbons you tossed into it.
As you will eventually discover, composting isn’t too hard if you have a budding interest in gardening. The above instructions will be helpful in creating the ideal compost for your garden, and you will notice the results from healthier looking plants.