By Enid Edginton
It is easy to learn how to make compost. It is just a natural process that when all is said and done needs very little intervention from you. Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments, and you can use it instead of commercial fertilizers. Best of all, compost is inexpensive.
Making compost is all about creating the ideal environment for organisms to thrive in the compost pile. After all compost is in the end is a waste product that results after hundreds of different organisms including friendly bacteria, fungi, insects and worms feed on our waster. After these organisms break down organic matter the rich crumbling brown matter left over is the fertilizer and soil conditioner that you will use to grow big and healthy plants in your garden.
If you just dump waste in a can it will take over a year to degrade into compost If you are wondering how to make compost quickly then you need to know a bit about the heat moisture and air conditions that are used to speed the whole process fast. Yet another key to success when it comes to how to make compost is to make sure that the core of your waste pile (whether it is inside or outside of a composting bin) heat up inside. This happens naturally but you can make it happen faster by adding composting teas that you make yourself or buy at a store. Another good thing about the internal heat inside a compost heat is the way it helps destroy plant viruses, bad bacteria and the seeds of weeds that may have ended up in the pile.
You can use almost carbon-rich materials (brown waste like leaves) and nitrogen-rich materials (like vegetable peelings.) Among the carbon rich materials are hay and wood chips. Nitrogen rich materials are fresh or green, such as grass clippings. To speed up the decomposition of matter when you are composting you need to keep the ration of brown stuff to 25 parts and add just 1 part greens. Using this ratio of green to brown waste will help your compost degrade more rapidly. Achieving the best mix is more an art gained through experience than an exact science.
Leaves are a great thing to put in your composter and should make up the total percentage of your yard waste. One way to make leaves degrade faster is to put them through a chipper or shredder. You can also try laying them out and shredding them by running your lawn mower over them again and again. These leaves will decompose faster then ones that are bigger.
Grass Clippings break down rapidly and contain a great deal of nitrogen. To prevent them from starting to smell in your composter, spread them on the driveway or other surface to dry out in the sun for a day or two. They are ready to throw in the composter when they turn straw like in texture.
You can add all types of kitchen refuse to your compost bin or compost heap as well. Types of kitchen waste that you can throw in include melon rinds, orange rinds, carrot and turnip peelings, banana peels, apple cores and tea bags. However don’t try to compost things like peanut butter or any meat matter as it will slow down the process of decay and cause odors and maybe even a problem with rodents.
Shredded organic materials heat up rapidly, disintegrate quickly, and produce silky, crumbly nutrient rich compost. The decomposition rate increases with the size of the composting materials. Don’t forget that you can add new materials on an ongoing basis to an already heaping pile of compost and to mix it or turn it over with a spade once a week to achieve optimum results!
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