How to make compost - ultimate guide

How to Make Compost for Your Garden and Its Benefits

Are you wondering on how to make compost in the comfort of your backyard?

Did you know that you can make your compost and maintain them?

Get to know how to make compost by following the tips provided below.

Some people think that making their compost is difficult, but the truth is, this is one of the easiest gardening tasks that you can do. Making your compost will ensure that you are only putting in organic materials and zero chemicals.

Doing a compost will also let you help the environment since kitchen scraps, and yard waste will be put to good use. Another good thing about making your compost is that it is not only easy, but it is also inexpensive.

The tips below will surely help you create your compost in the simplest way possible. Doing the tips below will surely make lessen the amount of the trash that you are going to throw away.


Creating a Compost Bin

The first thing that you need to do is to build your compost bin since having a bin is neater compared to creating a compost on the ground. It will also keep your compost away from any animals, especially if you are using food scraps to compost.

Using a bin can also help regulate the compost’s temperature and moisture. You can create a container that measures at least a cubic meter or a cubic yard.

Also read: How to make a worm farm


Filling in The Compost Bin with a Mixture of the Following

compost materials

Materials High in Nitrogen - Green Ones

For you to be able to activate the process of heating in your compost, you need to add in stuff that is high in nutrients, and this stuff is usually ones that are green.

Some of the best materials that you can include are grass cuttings, pigeon, chicken, or rabbit manure, comfrey leaves, young weeds, tea leaves, coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit scraps.

Materials High in Carbon - Brown Ones

Materials that are high in carbon can serve as your compost’s fiber. Some of the brown materials that you can include are dried florals, old flowers, sawdust straw, weeds, dead plants, and any other leaves.

You can also add in some hay if you have them, and as well as torn cotton clothing, paper bags, paper towels, hair, and as well as egg shells.

Adding Starter Or Soil Compost

Starter or soil compost is not necessarily needed, but you can add a sprinkle of soil to help introduce the right types of bacteria, which will then help start the cycle of compost quickly.

If you are in the process of pulling out weeds in your garden, the roots will probably have soil, and the amount of soil that you will be able to get would be enough for sprinkling. You can also use starter compost, but they are not entirely necessary.


Providing Enough Air to the Compost


Provide enough air to compost

You can either use a pitchfork or a shovel, though there are also tools for aerating that will make the process of turning your pile easier.

The next thing that you need to do is to provide enough air to your compost. The reason behind this is because it will avoid certain bacteria from developing in your compost.

It will also avoid making your compost smell sour as if you poured vinegar in it. The possibility of attracting flies and producing slimy and matted appearance.

Now, you can add more into your compost by adding more brown or dry materials in it and start mixing the pile. But you should know the turning a pile can be hard on your back and is a task that is known to be intensive.

You can either use a pitchfork or a shovel, though there are also tools for aerating that will make the process of turning your pile easier.


Providing Enough Moisture to the Compost


Humidification compost pile using the spray, preparation of organic fertilizers

A good compost pile should have enough moisture and how you are going to add moisture will depend on the climate that you live in. You can add water directly to the pile, or you can also let the green materials provide the moisture that your pile needs.

You may also add a lid to the bin as this will assist in keeping the moisture in. But you should know that you need to avoid overwatering it as the possibility of your bin not getting enough air is possible.


Tracking Your Compost Pile's Temperature


Tracking Your Compost Pile's Temperature

Thermometer in the compost pile showing high temperature of the decomposing material

One of the most important things that you need to pay close attention to when it comes to your compost pile is its temperature. It can provide you with an indication of your compost’s decomposition process and microbial activities.

You can directly track the pile's temperature by feeling it using your hand. If the oil is hot or warm, this just means that every material is decomposing the way it should be.

But if it has the same temperature as your air, then the activities of the microbial has already slowed down. This means that adding materials that are rich in nitrogen to your compost bin is necessary.


Layering or Mixing the Materials in the Bin


Layering or Mixing the Materials in the Bin

You also need to start layering or mixing the materials in your bin to ensure that they will be in contact with each other. It will also avoid any clumps that are significant, such as green materials compacted together, since they have the ability to turn anaerobic rapidly.

The best thing that you can here is to start laying all the lightweight materials that are brown, including leaves, as this will ensure that the bottom will be getting enough air.

Once you are done, you can start sprinkling each of the layers with water since it will require added moisture. You can also try mixing 3 part of brown materials to a part of the green.


Regularly Turning the Compost Pile


Regularly Turning the Compost Pile

You need to clear an area beside your bin as you need to move your compost pile on it so you can quickly turn it using a pitchfork. You can start turning your pile every week or every couple of weeks, depending on your preferences.

This is a great way of mixing the pile since it encourages the decomposition of aerobic, which will smell sour. Another reason why you need to turn your pile is to help promote the development of the needed bacteria of your pile.

Start moving the compost oil from the inside through the outside and from the bottom to the top. If you see any clumps, it would be best to break them up. You can add a little water and some green stuff if your pile looks too dry.

Now, if the pile seems to be too wet, then you can start adding dry materials. Just make sure to mix it well to start introducing the new material to the old material.


Composting Materials that are Slow Rotting


Composting Materials that are Slow Rotting

You can also add in some materials that are known to rot slowly, including wood pruning, wood shavings, wood ash, hedge and twig clipping, and as well as strong branches.

You can also compost them in a separate bin since they will take a lot longer to start breaking down. If you are leaving in a colder region, then these materials are ideal. For heavier materials, you can make the decomposition faster by shredding them.


Harvesting Your Compost


Now if your compost pile become successful, you can start collecting them and dig them or spread them to your garden. You can use a mesh screen, or you can also use your hands for your to be able to separate the chunks that are bigger and the ones that have not broken down yet.

For compost that looks fresh, this is a good thing since it can grow plants. But you should know that this can rob the nitrogen from your soil while it starts breaking down.

If you think that your compost is not yet ready, then you can leave it in your bin, or you can also spread it in the garden and let it stay there for a couple of weeks before you start growing any plants.


Materials that are Not Ideal for Composting


Fish bone in compost

Of course, there are also some other materials that should not be included in your compost bin since some materials do not have the ability to break down, including human or pet feces, synthetic fibers, fish bones, meat scraps, meat, and fish.

Disposable diapers, diseased plants, weeds, coke ash, magazines, glossy papers, and as well as cat litter should not be placed in the bin.

It is also advised to avoid including cooked food, nuts, pasta, and bread for composting. The reason behind this is because they don't have the ability to break down easily. They will, in turn, become slimy and can even hold up the rotting and heating process.

You should also never add any manure of animals that are eating meat, including a cat, dog, pig or any other omnivore or carnivore. This is mainly because they have the ability to contaminate the compost bin and the plants will cause illnesses that are foodborne.


Composting Benefits for Your Garden


1

Enhanced Structure of the Soil

If you have trouble growing vegetables and fruits in your garden, then this may be because of a weak structure of the soil. For instance, if the soil in your garden is clay or hard, the roots will have a hard time getting through.

They will also have a hard time obtaining the nutrients that they need for a healthier growth. But if you use compost for your garden, this can have impacts that are positive.

The proteins that the soil can get from the compost will ensure that they will be getting the needed nutrients and moisture that they need.

2

Added Nutrients for the Soil

Once the organic materials in your compost start to break down, this will produce an excellent fertilizer that you can feed your soil. It will then introduce nutrients and as well as macronutrients, including phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen.

There are also micronutrients that will be introduced, including zinc, iron, copper, and manganese.

3

Reduced Use of Water

Improving the structure of your soil and enhancing the content of nutrients that it has will not only help produce crops that are healthier, but it will also let you reduce the use of water.

The reason behind this is because the soil will also have the ability to retain moisture because of the compost.

Due to the introduction of the organic materials in your soil, it will help it hold more water and will also resist the compaction. This means that it will contribute to reducing runoff and erosion.

If you have sandy soil, it will help in increasing the dispersion of moisture, which will let the water to move from the application point laterally.

4

Lessens Plant Diseases

Soil that is treated with a compost pile can produce crops that don’t have many problems when it comes to pests. The reason behind this is because the compost will help the diseases and as well as the insects to be controlled.

5

Additional Tip on Composting

To make collecting of materials easier, it would be best to place a container with a lid under your sink or near your fridge. In this way, you can quickly put in chunks of your kitchen waste into your container.

Of course, if there are large pieces, it would be best to cut them up or chop them first. Now, if you don’t produce large quantities of kitchen waste, you can opt to choose a compost pail liners that are biodegradable.

You can easily toss it in your bin, which will also help in keeping your container cleaner and easier to handle.

Conclusion

These are all the tips on how to make compost for your garden and the benefits that your soil can get from the compost that you are going to make.

Start making your compost now and make sure to follow the tips above for you to ensure that you are doing the right thing.

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann, I have dedicated most of my life in gardening. This is a subject I enjoy the most. Since then, I committed to developing my website to be the best guidance when it comes to taking care of flowers and plants. I am trying my best to be well-versed with plants found in desert areas, tropics or Mediterranean. I still need to be knowledgeable about so many kinds of botanical life.

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