Making compost shouldn’t be complicated. There’s an abundance of information about this on this subject already, so the last thing you need is another complicated article on composting. While science is important too, you’re probably here for a rundown on making compost.
With that being said, let’s take a layman’s approach to make organic fertiliser. Adding compost to your soil will help your plants get the best nutrients and minerals possible while improving the quality of the surrounding ground as well.
Compost Making Methods
1. The “no-turn” method
As you can guess by the name, this is the easiest way of composting. You don’t have to turn the pile every week to accelerate the process. All you have to do is add plenty of coarse materials to your stack. Straw is a good and easily accessible material—it creates air pockets and aerates the compost pile. With this, you can expect the process to take the same amount of time as with the next method.
2. The “turn-over” method
With this method, all you have to do is make sure that you bring the compost from the bottom of the pile back to the surface at least once a week for the purpose of exposing the previously buried soil to air and nutrients found in the top layer. Also, similarly to the previous method, you have to add new organic materials to your stack, as well as coarse materials.
If you only have piles of leaves at hand, you don’t have to worry, you also can use them too for composting. All you have to do is:
- Find a place where you can pile up all of your leaves, preferably somewhere with shade
- Keep your stack packed lightly
- Make sure you aerate your pile from time to time
It will take four to six months for your leaves to turn into compost. However, you should keep in mind that this kind of fertiliser won’t have enough nutrients and microorganisms to benefit your plants—but it will make a great soil conditioner.
To make your compost efficient for gardening, you need to use ingredients that are rich in carbon and nitrogen—fruits and vegetable scraps. You can use leftover food scraps too, like eggshells or bones—but make sure to follow the tips that follow to help neutralise the smell, as food scraps and bones tend to attract pests. Don’t be afraid to add extras like shrub clippings, pine needles, coffee grounds, tea leaves, or whatever organic ingredients you have lying around.
To protect your compost from fruit flies and pests in general, you can cover your pile with lime or calcium when you add new ingredients. This will help neutralize the smell of the compost.
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