Making compost can seem like a hazard-free activity. What’s the worst that can happen? However, this article will teach you about ways to identify and how to avoid the possible dangers of composting.
If you’re interested in this process, you probably already know what it is and what benefits it brings along. It’s a brilliant method of disposing of biodegradable waste in an environmentally responsible way.
How is compost useful?
Making your own organic fertiliser is a great way to gradually reduce the volume of waste in landfills. Additionally, using compost is helpful for your garden as well. You can significantly improve the quality and structure of your soil while providing nutrients for your plants.
How can composting be dangerous?
If now handled carefully, compost can become a breeding ground for diseases, some of which can be really harmful to you. Here are a few most common conditions that you can catch from improper compost handling:
- Farmer’s Lung—has symptoms similar to pneumonia, and it comes from exposure to fungi and bacteria present in rotting organic materials (like mushroom or hay).
- Tetanus—a central nervous system disease caused by bacteria common in the soil.
- Aspergillosis—an infection of the lungs caused by fungi present in rotting plant matter.
Apart from disease, there are some pests that are attracted to compost. From worms to flies, termites or beetles, they’re drawn to the smell of decay and can, in turn, attract larger predators to your pile.
This doesn’t mean that composting is hazardous by itself. All you have to do is take some precautions when handling handmade organic fertiliser.
How can hazards be prevented?
Keep yourself informed
In order to be safe, you need to know what to guard yourself against. Therefore, it’s a good idea to do some research on different concepts and techniques for composting. By doing this, you will know how to choose the best way of doing this and how to protect yourself from potential danger.
After working with compost, it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly. It’s easy to get absorbed into your gardening activities, but you should never forget about hygiene. Another thing you can do is wear breathable gloves to protect your skin from being in direct contact with the compost. Protective footwear is also a good idea.
When you stir your pile of compost, you should wear a mask. This is useful if you want to avoid inhaling dangerous spores that you might come in contact with. Having this in mind, you should avoid tilling and turning on windy days.
Frequently check your compost pile
By checking your compost heap consistently, you can prevent unwelcome pests from inhabiting your pile. Without monitoring, your fertiliser can become a breeding ground for harmful animals and even weeds that can endanger both you and your garden.
Aerate your compost heap
Try to ensure that your pile has proper ventilation. You can do this by frequently stirring the pile and by having it in an open place, without a lid. This is important because compost can release a lot of heat and, if it loses air, it can become poisonous to the soil.
It’s important to be aware of the dangers that come with making your own organic compost. However, you shouldn’t let all of this information keep you from doing it. The entire process is beneficial both to you and the environment, and it’s really important that you practice this safely.
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