Domestic Compost: How to Prepare it at Home?

Domestic Compost: How to Prepare it at Home?

Domestic Compost: How to Prepare it at Home?
Domestic Compost: How to Prepare it at Home?

As you have no doubt noticed in the previous chapter, the use of compost is compelling to the garden. Furthermore, the ecological gardening should be systematically associated with home composting, since, on the one hand, the compost is at the base of the fertilization of the soil and that, on the other hand, gardening product an impressive quantity of organic matter which must be recycled to return to the earth. The home composting is without no doubt the activity of gardening the most éconologique which either. It is therefore not surprising that nicknamed the compost domestic “Brown Gold of the gardener” and that this chapter him either totally dedicated. Perhaps you are those who believe (incorrectly) that do its compost generates odors, request too much time or even, is too complicated. If such is the case, the following information, as well as your experiences which will accrue, should convince you of the contrary.

The advantages of doing its own compost

Several followers of home composting will tell you that they are also always fascinated by the wonderful metamorphosis, which operates under their eyes. See Materials, which are regarded as waste, transform, literally in an extraordinary amendment that is the compost… is almost magic. For some, it is equally captivating that the transition of the Chrysalis to the graceful butterfly or yet the transformation of the toad into a beautiful prince. But, apart from this side fascinating, three excellent reasons should convince you to begin or to continue this tremendous activity that is the home composting. This is the protection of the environment, the cost savings and quality control of the finished product. The organic materials compostable such as residues of kitchen and garden alone represent on average 40 % of the volume of the garbage bag.

Materials will be Processed

According to the way in which these materials will be processed, they become waste or resources. While the composting process contributes to stabilize the constituents, organic materials that take to the road from incinerators and landfill sites contribute to producing biogas some of which are responsible for the greenhouse effect. Similarly, the leachate water produced by the decomposition of the organic materials are an important source of pollution of the soil, since these entail with them of contaminants. Finally, the transport of thousands of tonnes of organic waste by truck also creates pollution. Do his compost, it is without a doubt a concrete gesture for the protection of the environment and at the same time to teach our children or grandchildren a concrete practice which will future responsible citizens.

The economic advantage of compost

The economic advantage of home composting is also very convincing. Considering that the cost of a bag of compost quality commercial, having a weight of 15 kg, is located around five dollars and that, on the other hand, a family of four persons generates on average 672 kg of organic matter is compostable by year, it is 336 kg of compost (the composting process reduced by 50% the quantity of organic matter due to the loss of water), which can be manufactured by year, or the equivalent of 22 bags of compost commercial, for an economy of approximately $110 per year. Of course, this economy will be of as much interesting if the investment related to the composting system is reasonable to this effect, we will see later that it is possible to manufacture a composter at low cost.

Another very good reason to do his compost is that we exercise a direct control on the quality of the product. In fact, when it manufactures its own compost, it uses only the correct ingredients, it can, therefore, attest to the quality of the finished product, which is not at all clear in the case of compost commercial. The next section discusses the ingredients that it is possible to composting as well as those that it is better to avoid. Finally, when we think of all the benefits that offer the home composting, it is difficult to understand why so few people engage in this.

The compostable materials are usually classified into two categories, either the brown materials (rich in carbon) and green materials (rich in nitrogen). You will understand the reason for this differentiation in section 5 which deals with the methods of manufacture of compost. Note that the terms “green” and “brown” do not necessarily make reference to the color of the ingredient (although several meet these qualifiers), but rather to its category. Of course, it is not necessary to use all the materials in the list that follows. However, it is desirable to employ at least one ingredient of each of the two categories. Of course, the more you will introduce different materials, the more your compost will be rich in mineral elements.


Vermicomposting is a method of composting which enables the manufacture of compost to the interior with the help of small red worms (Eisenia foetida). The Worms are placed in a plastic container aerated, the vermicomposter, in a litter consisting of a carbon-rich material such as the shredded newspaper. They are then fed periodically with the kitchen waste. After a few months, it results in a compost of high quality very useful for indoor plants. This method is more complex and more limited from the point of view of the quantity that the home composting fact in the garden, but it may be appropriate for those who live in the apartment and who have no area of land to install a composter.

The brown materials (rich in carbon)

The brown materials, that are sometimes called dry, are in fact of materials rich in carbon. The qualifications of these last are multiple, that is why they are considered as essential ingredients in the manufacture of compost. First of all, they provide an essential element to micro-organisms, the carbon. In addition, given their composition fibrous, they structure the final product. Finally, they contribute to retaining the mineral elements which are likely to escape the green materials. As well, when they constitute the first layer, materials rich in carbon retain the mineral elements liquids which would otherwise be leached to the ground, whereas if they are placed on the surface, they prevent some mineral elements volatility such that the nitrogen to evaporate in the air.

Needles of coniferous trees

the needles of the pine, spruce, and other conifers should be composted in restricted quantity because they are very acidic. Why not leave them at the base of your conifers and other acidophilic plants? They will make an excellent mulch… free.

Twigs and branches

twigs and small branches that break easily in the hand can be composted directly while the branches with a diameter of 1 cm and more should be fragmented. If you have only a few branches from time to time, the pruning shears, the shears or any other sharp tool will do very well the case. However, for significant quantities, you may need to have recourse to a shredder. Some municipalities offer the service of shredding of branches to citizens and then offer them the product. Tell you! The branches as well shredded are also very useful as a mulch.

Wood shavings and sawdust of wood chips and sawdust are ingredients very rich in carbon. They are therefore difficult to compost, that is why the volume of the latter should not exceed 10% of the total volume of materials to composting.

To avoid: chips and sawdust from painted wood, complexion, treaty or of plywood.

Dead leaves are an important input to the compost. Since they are present in abundance in the fall, it is the ideal time for you to reserves in anticipation of the coming season. Do you not have sheets on your land? That would not stop, go to make a tour in a forested area of your municipality or even your neighbor before the garbage collection, and make your choice in the bags at your disposal.

Have no fear, nobody you will acknowledge of vol. In passing, it would be time that you think the planting of trees on your field… The shredding of the sheets is not mandatory but desirable, and this, mainly for the big leaves such as those of the maples. It greatly accelerates the decomposition. To do this, use the trimmer or the grass cut mechanized (The leaves are placed in a bin, in which one operates the cut-grass). Attention to the sheets of walnut and oak. Use these in moderation because they contain substances that are delaying their decomposition.

To avoid:

the leaves of the trees that have been treated with pesticides and those of trees seriously ill.


bales of straw are often used to make the Halloween decorations. The feast in the past made the tour of your neighborhood before the collection of garbage. You will, without doubt, a beautiful crop.

Log Paper

Since the collection of newsprint for the purpose of the RECYCLE is now commonplace in most of the municipalities, you should favor this recovery mode which is more appropriate than the composting. However, if you wish to try the experience of composting of a paper journal, be aware that you will need to the arm of patience. In a first time, you will need to select the paper in a way to eliminate all the sheets that contain color ink, as well as the sheets of glossy paper. Subsequently, it will be necessary to tear or cut out the sheets of paper newspaper in strips or, better yet, use a paper shredder in the office. For your information, the black ink of the newspapers today is vegetable.

To avoid:

the printed paper with the ink color, glossy paper, office paper.


It is convenient to place a sheet of newsprint in the bottom of the container in which it collects the residues of the kitchen. When the time comes to transfer all to the composter, this avoids that residues of the kitchen do not remain stuck to the bottom of the container.

Old clothes of natural fibers: cotton, jute, wool, flax

old clothing of natural fibers can obviously be recycled in many ways to give them a second life (donation to a charity, transformation in rags), but they can also be composted. Use to make the straps that will be used to attach your tomato plants to their guardian. The fall came, these ties “éconologiques” may be composted with the plant.

green materials (rich in nitrogen)

The green materials, sometimes called wet materials, are rich in nitrogen. This ingredient, as well as the carbon, is an essential food for the microorganisms. This latest décomposeront more quickly the materials rich in nitrogen. From there the importance of associating them with brown materials, which for their part will be decomposed more slowly. In addition, the green materials provide a variety of mineral elements which will enrich the final product.


Algae along the banks of the river can be harvested to then be composted. However, if they come from a zone of salt water, do not overuse it, because an excess of salt is not only harmful to humans, it is also for your small decomposer employees who might make… the strike. Hair and hair of animals if you brush you’re big regularly, perhaps thank-you to knit a sweater with all these hairs? Be aware now that it may be simpler to the composting. Indeed, you can compost the hairs of your domestic animals of the same that the human hair. However, make sure you to moisten the whole in order that the decomposition is done properly.

To avoid:

the treated hair chemically. The waste “greens” of a garden the green waste of garden include dead flowers, residues of a size of annuals, perennials and vegetable plants, as well as weeds. They are an important source of green material for anyone garden a little. Concerning the weeds, if you believe that we must not be composting, You undeceive because these are an important source.

Of mineral elements. Of course, you would not like they breed in your compost and you have in part reason since during the home composting, the low-temperature increase does not destroy the seeds, not more than the rhizomes of adventitious plants. However, when the young plants do not include that of leaves, stems, and roots, there is no risk. But when the plants will be flowers or seeds, complete the following steps.

Remove them in a bucket and cover them with water. Cover slightly and leave the “mariner” everything during 10 to 14 days. During this period, the seeds will germinate and then rot and you can add the All, including liquid, in your composter.

In fact, you will build as well a liquid manure. It could therefore also be used for fertilization booster to your plants, while the solid material will be sent to the compost. If weeds have rhizomes, which are in fact of great white roots propagating in the ground, you can also do rot according to the method described previously or to dry in the sun until they are brittle, therefore non-viable.

To avoid:

the diseased plants, infested with insects and plants having been treated with pesticides.

Kitchen waste

Several compostable wastes from the kitchen. They include the peels and remains of fruits and vegetables, the Marc of coffee including the paper filter (preferably non-bleached), Bags of tea and herbal teas, the remains of pasta, cereal or legumes, stale bread or dried.

To avoid:

Meat, fish, dairy products, fat (including the vinaigrette salads) and the OS.

The excrements of herbivorous animals

Manure from animals herbivores such as manure cow, of chicken and rabbit, can make of mineral elements interesting in the compost. Prefer of manure of animals reared as naturally as possible.
To avoid: droppings and litter of pets (dogs, cats, birds) of same that the horse dung, because it contains a lot of seeds.

Pairings of lawn

6added to the compost in small quantities, the trimmings of the Lawn have an accelerating effect because of their very high rates of nitrogen. But, when they are composted in large quantities, they are likely to cause odor problems related to a clearance of ammonia. Not very pleasant for the neighborhood! Moreover, the odor problems generated by the trimmings of lawn are without a doubt responsible, in large part, the bad reputation of home composting. The way the most “éconologique” and practice which is to recycle the trimmings of lawn is shredding and leave them in place at the time of shearing.

If, despite everything, you hold to compost your pairings of lawn, make sure you mix adequately to reason a part of parings for two parties of materials brown. If you do not have enough materials Brown, extend first your trimmings in thin layers in the sun during a few hours. As well, they will turn from green to yellow, which will indicate that they will have lost their surplus of nitrogen.
You can then the composting without risking of inconveniencing the whole neighborhood.

To avoid :

The lawn that has been treated with pesticides.

The other materials that can enter into the composition of compost

The following materials have also benefit to be added to the compost. Even if they have little influence on the balance carbon/nitrogen, they have other qualities undeniable. Some add of mineral elements, while others contribute to inoculate the compost in micro-organisms. The shells of Eggs Egg Shells constitute an interesting contribution in calcium. To facilitate the decomposition, it is preferable to dry the shells and then grind before placing in the compost.

Potting mix

the old potting soil potting shed of your plants of interior and your hanging flower baskets can be added to the compost.
To avoid: potting mixes containing crystals of water retention, the Styrofoam as well as any other synthetic material.

Land of the garden

The addition of garden soil is desirable and even essential to inoculate the compost in micro-organisms as we will see in the section dealing with the manufacture of compost. Although it is not contraindicated, the land sold commercial in the bag is not recommended for this use because it often contains little of micro-organisms.

If, despite everything, you hold to compost your pairings of lawn, make sure you mix adequately to reason a part of parings for two parties of materials brown. If you do not have enough materials Brown, extend first your trimmings in thin layers in the sun during a few hours. As well, they will turn from green to yellow, which will indicate that they will have lost their surplus of nitrogen. You can then the composting without risking of inconveniencing the whole neighborhood. To avoid the lawn that has been treated with pesticides.

The factors that influence the speed of decomposition

the speed of decomposition of the Compost depends on several factors and it is the whole of all these factors that will enhance or not the acceleration of the process of composting. If you are the kind rather pressed or hyperactive and have a lot of time, you will be able to make compost in three months. To do this, you will need to consider scrupulously the main factors which activate the speed of decomposition.

In contrast, if you are rather of the genus Relax and you earn organic matter without too bring him attention, be patient because it may be that you need to wait up to three years before that the composting process is completed.

Finally, you may be as the majority of the people, that is to say, that you are ready to put a bit of yours without that composting does not become the main activity of your life. In this case, it will be very realistic to anticipate your crop after a period of one year.

Here are the factors that have an influence on the speed of decomposition of the compost.

The method of composting and the dimension of the pile

composting method in an operation (block Chinese) is proving to be one of the quickest methods especially if it involves a minimum volume of 1 cubic meter. As well, the increase in temperature is the index of an intense activity of micro-organisms, therefore an accelerated decomposition of the organic matter.

The diversification of the materials

more the mixture of materials brown and green will be balanced, more of the composting process will be done quickly. It is with the experience that you will arrive to develop the ideal recipe with the waste that you generate.

The fragmentation of the material

more the hardware is fragmented, more micro-organisms have the possibility to invade the organic tissues quickly. Hence the importance of cut, shredding, cut the materials most tough.

The aeration

Several strategies are possible to ensure that there is enough air in the compost. This is the use of a container airy (not too) or of a tarpaulin that leaves penetrate the air; the reversal of the pile; the agitation of the pile with a tool of aeration or a fourchebêche; the installation of pipes of ventilation (for the large pile).

The moisture

The compost must have the qualities of a wrung-out sponge. It must be moist to the touch, but do not let escape of water when the press. To avoid the waste of drinking water, it will benefit from a rainy day to remove the lid of the composter. The water that we collect gutters also offers the possibility to moisten the compost, the need.

The addition of natural accelerators

Even If multiple throttles to compost are sold on the market, it is not “éconologique” to buy those. If you want to add an accelerator to compost “free”, use rather the earth in your garden, your old compost, of trimmings of lawn, human urine diluted as well as several plants that are rich in nitrogen which the fern, the dandelion, the Nettle, yarrow, comfrey, rosemary, chamomile or a liquid manure fact of these plants.

Problems and Solutions

The small inconveniences that may occur in the manufacturing process of the compost are far to be insoluble. On the contrary, they will allow you to rethink certain practices which may not be quite beside the point.

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