Irrespective of the kind of environment you live in, a dry, hot or cold lush environment, you need composting because it is a great means to provide your plants or crops with essential nutrients. In this article, I will be teaching you how to make or prepare garden compost yourself.
This short guide will help you in preparing and using nutritious compost in your garden.
Garden compost contains kitchen wastes, yard trimmings and a few other biodegradable materials. When all these ingredients are combined together, they provide your garden soil with calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals and vitamins. When you know and understand the concept of composting, you will be able to enjoy an organic lifestyle without depending on those inorganic fertilizers such as NPK and harmful chemical products.
Start planning your garden compost when the growing season ends to take advantage of winter (or cold season) for compost curing and preparation. You will need a big compost bin or a big plastic waste can with lid. It is inside the bin that the compost will cure in. You will also get a small bucket with airtight cover/lid. You don’t need to buy something expensive—paint buckets are cheap and excellent for this purpose. Ensure that the indoor and outdoor containers have lids that can prevent odours from escaping into the environment. The large compost bin should be placed somewhere far from your home (to prevent insects and pests infestation), but not far from your garden. Keeping the compost bin far away from your home will also protect your nostrils from the odours that might be coming out from the compost bin. The indoor container should be kept beside your waste bin.
What to Compost?
Keep the food leftovers, kitchen wastes and yard trimmings that are ordinarily throw away, to start your kitchen compost collection. Nevertheless, don’t save bread or meat because they are not necessary in the garden compost. In fact, bread items or meat will throw off the garden soil pH level, create putrid odours and attract pests. Some garden-safe and useful kitchen materials are fruit/vegetable matter, egg shells, fish bones, oyster shells, tea bags, coffee grounds and coffee filters. These kitchen materials should be kept in the small, airtight container (e.g. small paint bucket) and once it’s full, empty it into a bigger compost container that is kept far away from your home. Wash the smaller container and continue to fill and refill it with kitchen waste.
Composting outdoor materials enables you to add mulching ingredients to your existing kitchen compost. You can add grass clippings to the compost, but don’t add seeds and roots of intrusive weeds as the roots or seeds may live and germinate when you apply the compost on your garden. The compost container must always be kept covered, and remove the lid only when you add yard and kitchen compost to the bin/container. The compost container must be kept covered till the first week of the last frost in your area or country.
Worms instead of Fertilizer
Also known as vermicompost, worm compost provides your garden with fertilizer without the need of odorous manures and chemical plant boosters. Essentially, the earthworms throughout your garden soil eat-up the compost, soil and other matter while digesting it. The finished result is a naturally organic fertilizer that doesn’t require that you mix in horse or cow manure with your soil. The earthworms also help you out by eating large particles of kitchen compost, making it smaller and smaller as it becomes infused within the garden soil.
Obtain some red wriggler earthworms from a local tackle shop or through another reliable source. To add the earthworms to your compost, do so after the compost has been spread upon your garden area and mixed into the soil. Simply dump a container of the worms onto the surface of the compost-rich soil and allow them to wriggle themselves beneath the surface. Do this task about two weeks before sowing the seeds in your garden. This allows the worms time to begin munching on your compost and soil.