It is every gardener’s mantra that nothing in nature should ever be wasted. From dead plants to rotting fruits and even vegetable peels, these natural elements are haven for excellent compost to grow a thriving garden. Learning how to make compost at home is a worthwhile project to take. Home composts allow homeowners to zero in on leftovers and wastes to produce fertile soil for their hearty gardens and landscapes.
But why is it better to learn this on your own and what specific guidelines can be done to make the project a success?
Why Compost At Home
One of the wonders in growing a fertile garden is to use compost, or decomposed organic items produced by break down of garbage and/or biodegradable trash by natural bacteria in soil. Many expert gardeners, in fact, lauded the use of compost not just in their gardens but also in landscape amendment. Aside from composting is for free with only kitchen or backyard waste and clippings being used, it also save money from buying fertile soil to mix into your land. Soil mixed with compost from natural produce waste allow more productive growth in vegetables, herbs, and other garden plants. It does not only improve your garden’s soil structure, it also improves its overall texture and aeration capabilities.
Of course, adding compost is so much cleverer than buying and adding fertilizer. Growing an organic herb, vegetable or rose garden the natural way will ultimately give that distinct feeling of goodness and serenity knowing that nothing touches your haven but all things that nature can offer without the risks.
So, how do you get started with your home compost project? While each and everyone has a different level of commitment, the following guidelines will suffice in kickstarting a productive and worthwhile home-composting project.
- Location, Location. Select the perfect site for your compost bin. You may want to keep it out of your neighbors’ sensitive olfactories by finding a spot with adequate airflow as well as easy access to water. Consider also an area where enough shade is present during summer or warmer condition and adequate protection during winter.
- Compost Bin. Some gardening experts can do very well by making compost straight to their garden plots. Others also have the patience to make their own composters using recycled non-compost savvy materials in their own home. For beginners, however, it is highly recommended to invest in a good rotating bin for ease and protection from lurking scavengers in your yard.
- Compost Items Selection. Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t always mean they go straight to the compost bin. You can’t add meat or animal products. So are coal ash, weeds, pet droppings or litter, cooked food, dairy products, plate scrapings, glass, glossy paper, metal, and other synthetic materials. You may, however, add egg shells, vegetable peels and scraps, newspaper, lawn clippings, leaves, vegan animal manure, tea bags, cardboard, coffee ground and filters, and grass or fruit scraps.
- Monitoring System. You can’t just dump everything into your compost bin and expect it to thrive on its own. It is essential to set up a sound monitoring system touching on these 4 aspects– aeration, temperature, moisture and carbon-nitrogen ratio. Compost must be hot or warm to the touch, at around 140-deg to 160-deg F. So, check regularly by sticking a hand into the pile’s center or get a compost thermometer. If it’s turning cold, turn it over. Adding the right amount of water will also keep moisture just right. It must be moist but not soaking wet. A pitchfork must also come handy in turning your pile regularly. A compost aerator also is quite handy. Keep in mind that efficient decomposition can only take place with enough oxygen present. When it comes carbon-nitrogen ratio (approximately 25-30:1), this rule of thumb must be remembered– all things brown are considered richer in terms of carbon content than greenish organic waste.
- Best Composting Time. There really is no best composting time. You can do composting all year round without any hitch. However, adequate care must be done when composting in the winter. When the temperature starts freezing, so does the decomposition of elements in your bin. A sprinkle of dried leaves in between your kitchen scraps will help cook your compost better. Have it covered, too, to ensure protection from torrential downpour or from snow. When the sun’s up, make sure to expose your compost bin to speed up the decomposition process.
Get Your Compost Gear On
Given the right equipment and the passion to turn your gardening hobby into a more noteworthy one, knowing how to make compost at home can be done without a cinch. Be reminded though that it’s going to be a slow painstaking process. Compost can take at least 9 to 12 months to be “fully cooked”. Nevertheless, the effort is quite laudable as you will not only be giving joy to your garden but also true to form in your being an Earth lover by reducing curbside waste.