Compost, Waste, Worm Farms
Compost is a version of humus found in soil. The Australian gardener’s best friend, this is a mixture of recycled organic and household waste that you can use as a natural fertilizer to renew your soil’s composition and yield bountiful plant growth and harvests. Making compost for your garden is not as difficult as it seems. You can even create one at home using crude materials you may easily locate in your household.
Here are the basic steps of making compost:
- Step 1: Free the ground from debris and set-up three wooden pallets that are tied side by side.
- Step 2: The two basic ingredients of compost is carbon (brown ingredients) and nitrogen (green ingredients). The former provides volume while the latter fuels the compost. A 1:4 carbon-nitrogen ratio is the standard being followed. Collect items which are potential sources of carbon like autumn or dry leaves, newspapers, vegetable wastes, sawdust etc. Nitrogen is found from organic and artificial types of activators. Organic types include soil lawn clippings, hair, weeds and blood meal. Although, artificial type of activator like commercial Nitrogen fertilizers is readily available, organic types are more effective since artificial activators do not contain protein which is essential for microorganisms’ use.
- Step 3: Compost pile consists of layers of carbon alternated with nitrogen. Place larger materials at the bottom of the heap. Putting it at the bottom of the heap increases the chances for it to breakdown and it also allows the air to move through it.
- Step 4: Continue layering the materials. Water the heap as it grows and in every additional layer of nitrogen. Ensure to keep the heap moist.
- Step 5: As decomposition commences, the heap will begin to subside. Smother the pile with fresh lawn clippings and water it again. You can also install a piece of PVC pipe in the middle of the heap to maintain airflow. Add additional food scraps over time and leave it for 2 weeks.
- Step 6: Turn the compost pile. Fork and transfer it to 2 or more bins.
- Step 8: After turning it, leave it again for another week. However, turning it more often hastens the decomposition process.
- Step 9: You know it’s done when after 4-6 weeks of continuous turning, the organic materials are unrecognizable and the heap looks like organic soil.
Now that your compost is ready, you can use it in many different ways to enhance the soil with the appropriate amount of nutrients for the plants to thrive at its best!
- Guide To Composting, What To Know About Compost, How to compost, Vegetable Gardening Basics, Organic Gardening