The best favor you can do to your garden is keeping chemicals, whether in the form of fertilizers or pesticides, away from it. In context of fertilizers, the best natural alternative for you comprises of compost. Are you one of those who still believe composting to be a difficult process and prefer to settle for fertilizers? Though using the ready-to-spread fertilizers looks easy, they are full of harmful chemicals and are detrimental to you’re your plants and you. On the other hand, composting is a very easy process and doesn’t need a lot of time and inclination. The soil enriched with compost produces tastier fruits and vegetables (with more than 85% extra nutrients and vitamins), than those produced from the fertilizer-laden soil. In addition, compost makes the soil more productive and keeps the plants healthier. Moreover, making your own compost will not cost you any money. So, get ready to learn the process of turning your trash into treasure - garden and kitchen waste into compost. Read on to explore tips on how to make compost.
Making Compost At Home
- Any small place in your garden or backyard would be enough for making compost. However, you need to make sure that the place is well aerated and out of plain sight. You can compost in a sunny or shaded area, but the area should be away from watercourses.
- You don’t have to invest in a compost bin to make compost. You can make your own bin as well, with chicken wire. Take a roll of chicken wire and circle it around the area, where you are composting. Yet another option is to use an old trash can for this purpose. Just make some holes in the can, to keep it aerated.
- After you have narrowed on the compost bin, move on to the items that make up. Basically, there are two types of composting elements - green elements and brown elements. The brown elements comprises of wood shavings, shredded leaves, old bedding plants, cereal packets, egg boxes, hedge clippings, wood ash, saw dust, straws etc. The most common green materials are the peels of your fruits and vegetables, tea bags and green leaves, animal manures from herbivores and poultry manures.
- You need to use both green and brown elements. The brown materials are rich in carbon, which is used as energy by the microbes present in the compost. On the other hand, green ingredients are high in nitrogen, essential for the compost organisms. After you have gathered all the brown materials, move onto the green materials.
- The mixture of brown and green ingredients is called as C/N ratio. If you add more nitrogen elements, the compost will take longer time to be made and will smell awful. It would be best to add brown and green ingredients in 60:40 ratio. Deposit the compost in thin, alternate layers of green and brown materials, until it is almost 3 cubic feet in size. Now, blend the mixture thoroughly.
- The right amount of moisture and oxygen is also necessary for good composting. Too much moisture doesn’t leave any space for air and too much air dries out the matter. The moisture should be enough to make sure that the matter doesn’t dry down and the material looks like a damp moistened sponge.
- Keep on turning the mixture on a weekly basis. Churn the mixture from the inside, to bring it outside and vice versa. It will help maintain the airflow and increase the decomposition. Sprinkle water, if the material has dried down. Depending on the environment you provide, you compost should be ready in four to six months. Happy gardening!