If you are a gardener, you already know that rich and dark compost can be as valuable as a magical elixir that will not only multiply soil’s nutrients but will also enhance its water retaining abilities.
The result is healthier plants that are quite adept at fighting off common plant diseases which might decimate the nutrition starved plants.
Though many gardeners stick to specific compositing instructions while creating compost, you can also cultivate a good batch of compost if you choose to relax the rules slightly.
Remember the Raw Materials
The first key to having good compost is to toss scraps of fruits and vegetables into a kitchen compost container and then empty these raw materials to a large bin to ensure active composting.
Some of the great compost ingredients many people overlook are leaves, hay, chemical free grass clippings, and small cupboard boxes. You can also add a few helpings of animal manure such as droppings from horses, cattle, chickens, rabbits and goats.
Adding wood sawdust, wood chips, sugar loaded, salty or fatty foods is not a good idea. You should also refrain from adding manure from cats, dogs or humans and meat remnants.
Create a Pile
Though some gardeners like commercial compost bins, you can also get great results with creating a homemade circular compost pile that is 3 or 4 feet in diameter. You can contain it with welded wire or plastic garden fencing.
Spreading a 4-inch layer of coarse plant material on the bottom is also a good idea. You should also add fruits or vegetable scraps, dead plants, grass clippings and chopped up leaves to the pile. Spraying it with water to keep it moist is also an awesome idea but make sure that it doesn’t become soggy.
When you have a moist and nicely layered pile that is 3 feet in width and height, it will start heating up and decomposing in a few days. After the pile develops and earthy perfume, it can be assumed that you have reached the perfect balance of moisture and dry materials.
How to Turn the Compost
When the compost materials break down, they will start shrinking in volume and let beneficial air mix in which will speed up the process. You should turn the compost with a sturdy fork and add water to it when needed because it will help in blending the compost materials.
When the materials are well-mixed, they break down into smaller pieces quickly and let you achieve rich and dark brown compost faster than you assumed.
Once the compost is ripe for the garden, you should keep the pile covered to avoid letting the rain drain out compost nutrients.
How to Deal with Compost Issues?
In many cases, the compost might not be as healthy as you assume it to be. Sometimes, the odor of the pile is so strong that it may make you pass out.
This scenario means that you have added too much water of green material. To fix this situation, you should add some extra dry material or turn it to blend in some air.
In a case where a group of maggots are present in a pile, it is due to accessible fruit and vegetable scraps that they couldn’t resist. This situation can be avoided by covering your kitchen scraps.
Another problem is ants which is often a result of too-dry compost piles. You can fix it by hosing the pile with water and covering it with grass clippings, cloth or straw as it will help the compost pile to stay moist. Before you begin cranking out this asset, you need to wait for the pile to balance itself.
On the whole, it can be said that creating a compost that can be a valuable asset for your garden is not so tough if you are dedicated and follow all the aforementioned instructions to the letter. Try it and see for yourself!