If you have started to live a life of sustainability, eco-friendliness, and awareness, then you most likely have come across the beautiful thing known as compost. For the avid gardener or gardener-to-be, compost is the gold of the gardening world.
It enriches your soil, reduces the need for chemical fertilisers, and also encourages beneficial bacteria to break down organic matter into materials fit for planting.
If you haven’t yet seen the value in creating compost, then now might be the right time. Read on to learn how to create the perfect compost and never buy chemical-laden fertiliser again.
- Begin on the Land
While you undoubtedly went out and purchased a new compost bin, you won’t need it quite yet. To encourage worms to enter your compost, you need to start the foundation of your compost on natural ground. You will then be able to move both your compost and the worms into your compost bin once they have worked their magic to aerate your soil.
- Set the Foundation
The first layer of your compost on the ground should be straw or twigs. Add around 5-10 centimetres of these materials on the ground to aid drainage and aeration. You can then add thin, moist, and dry layers of compostable materials.
- Know What to Compost
It’s easy to go a little crazy with composting and think that everything can be composted, but it can’t be. For your moist layers, use tea bags, seaweed, food scraps, and similar. Accompany these moist layers with dry layers of sawdust, straw leaves, wood ash, and similar. Make sure the layers are thin, or they will clump together and slow down the composting process.
- Add Nitrogen
Nitrogen, which you can find in green manure and grass clippings, for example, is an excellent way in which to “activate” your compost and speed up the breaking down process. From here, it’s essential to keep the pile moist with water or rainwater.
Most people will be in agreement that composts are not the most attractive garden features, but that’s not why you need to cover them. If you cover your compost heap with carpet, plastic, or wood, you are giving it the best chance of heat and moisture retention – two things it needs to work its magic. If you live in a wet climate, then covering your compost can also prevent over-watering.
Oxygen, by way of aeration, is paramount for the success of your compost. Make a point of turning over your compost pile every few weeks. You can also buy compost tumblers that take care of this for you.
Composting is an excellent way in which to work on your sustainability. You can use it as a soil conditioner, reduce landfill waste, and even use up your kitchen and yard waste that would otherwise make its way into your rubbish bin and then landfill. Once you’ve created the perfect compost, you can then watch as your lawns and gardens thrive.