There are many benefits to creating your own compost. Adding the final product to flowers and vegetable beds is the most natural way to improve the structure, health and energy of your soil, which in turn improves the health and energy of the plants.
Molten helps the environment by feeding all the organisms involved in digesting the ingredients and then feeding the soil organisms that continue the degradation process.
It is also good for the environment as you can recycle what would otherwise end up in municipal waste bins. Kitchen waste, clippings, leaves, grass waste and lots of household paper and cardboard waste are perfect ingredients for composting.
What to put in compost
The composting process requires a mixture of soft, nitrogen-rich materials and woody, carbon-rich materials to function properly. These ingredients should be in roughly equal proportions, although it is best to choose a little more brown than green, but not the other way around.
If the pile becomes very wet and slimy or starts to smell, add more brown material. However, if it looks dry and will not crumble, add only green waste.
In general, reducing ingredients will produce faster compost.
Toilet paper tubes and egg cartons can be added immediately.
The compost is ready when it is brown and looks like earth, although it may still have some twigs or clumps.
What is “green stuff”?
This includes kitchen waste (such as lemon peel, onions and rhubarb leaves), coffee flour and tea leaves, grass leaves, dead flowers and clippings.
What is “brown stuff”?
Demolished cuttings and hedgerows, wood chips, wood ash, sawdust, thin cardboard, cardboard and paper. If you have a large amount of something like hedges or ashes, it is best to add them gradually and mix them with enough green matter each time.
What not to put in compost
- Perennial weeds
- Weed seed head
- Dog poop or cat litter
- Plants suffering from viral diseases
- Cooked food.
How to create a compost bin
- Place your compost bin or heap on the ground so that snakes and other organisms can access it.
- Collect and mix approximately equal amounts of green and brown matter. You need enough to make a 12 inch deep track.
- If possible, add compost from the existing pile to the first layer to allow the compost to build up quickly.
- Add 12 inches of 50:50 mixture of green and brown material each week for up to 10 days.
- When it starts to dry, pour in the compost water and turn it over or just mix it monthly with a fork or air dryer.
- You should have a rich, brown compost every six months.
Composting with the lasagne method
If it is difficult to mix the green and brown material together, we have found that the more unconventional “lasagna method” works surprisingly well.
- Start the pile or compost in the same way as described for the previous method, but add the green and brown material alternately at a depth of only 10 to 15 cm each.
- Repeat this every week for up to 10 days.
- We did not shuffle or roll over the mound, but we kept it moist and lifted the tracks with a garden fork to spread the air.
- After half a year, the top layers were still in a raw state, but everything below was rotten and created a good, crumbling compost.
How to compost grass clippings
If you have a large lawn and want to collect the grass after it has been mowed, it can create a lot of grass all year round. Grass becomes slimy when it rots, when you put too much on your pile and it can be difficult to find enough brown material to prevent this from happening.
- Add dry autumn leaves or a few scoops of soil in a ratio of 1: 5.
- Use a product called Complete Red from Wiggly Wigglers to provide enough carbon to successfully rot the lawn.
How to compost leaves
The leaves disintegrate slowly and therefore are often only composted. We have found that shredding more than doubles the speed of the process and this can be done by driving over a lawn mower or collecting in a vacuum in a leaf.
- Chop up the leaves.
- Put them in a black plastic bag.
- Wet them and drill drainage holes in the bags before putting them away.
- We got a perfect, crumbly leaf shape in less than a year, instead of the 18 months to two years it took for the uncrossed leaves to fall apart.
You can also make leaf molds for mulching from sticks and chicken wire. Ventilation would be better with this type of container, but it is more difficult to keep it moist in dry weather.
Need to sell compost?
Yes, the organisms involved in decomposition in the compost heap need air. When a pile becomes dense and airless, the process slows down or stops.
3 ways to change compost
- Empty and fill your entire container or change the contents into another container.
- Mix the compost together by lifting it and turning it with an edge fork.
- Use a spiral mixer that screws through the compost. Good option if you have a closed container with a relatively small opening at the top and even easier than a fork.
We have also tried to roll compost baskets into which compost is mixed by turning the barrel by a handle or sometimes rolling it through the barrel. It sounds simple, but our experience shows that when the compost crumbles, these bins can be heavy and difficult to turn.
Most of our experiments were also slower to create usable compost but a much simpler (and cheaper) compost bin that was mixed manually.
What is the difference between “hot” and “cold” composting?
The difference is in the construction of “hot compost boxes” which are usually closed and made of insulation, the technology used to add the ingredients and the time it takes to rot.
In order to create conditions where the material heats up and disintegrates quickly at high temperatures, it is necessary to add a large amount of material at a time, which must be mixed well with the right amount of soft green kitchen waste and so on. . and carbon brown waste.
You can also use a hot compost bin to rot a much wider range of debris, including cooked food and bones that should be emptied of colder debris.