Common Mistakes the Average Home Composter Is Making
Compost is a nutrient-rich soil that the average gardener can produce by recycling organic matter. Once layered, food scraps and decomposing plant material can break down and turn into a soil product you can use as a plant fertilizer without spending a dime.
While composting sounds straightforward and can be, it’s also easy for the average gardener to make mistakes. If you want to create nutrient-rich compost to help your plants thrive, don’t make some of the following common mistakes:
Not Being Aware of the Different Composting Methods
It’s easy to assume that heap composting is the only composting type involving layering organic materials into a pile and turning it occasionally. However, you can also purchase tumblers like the Jora composter, which enables you to turn and tumble compost to aerate it and allow the microbes to decompose the matter. By being aware of all the different composting methods, you can weigh the pros and cons of each and choose an option that best suits your composting abilities and schedule.
Putting It In the Wrong Area
Most gardeners would prefer to tuck their compost area away in a secluded part of the yard to stop it from detracting from their property’s beauty. However, compost doesn’t thrive in all environments, so its location can be pivotal to your success in creating a nutrient-rich compost. No matter where you place it, ensure your compost tumbler or pile receives at least a small amount of sunlight and is in a reasonably sheltered area to prevent too much moisture.
Adding the Wrong Materials
Knowing what to put on your compost heap can be trial and error, but there are a number of ingredients that should go in your trash can rather than your compost tumbler. Refrain from adding animal products like meat and fat that can attract vermin and cause harmful microbes to develop. It’s also not a good idea to add perennial weed roots and seed-bearing weeds that might see your compost heap as an excellent place to thrive.
Materials that can be slow to break down are also worth avoiding, such as fruit stones, corn cobs, and tree branches. If you plan to add egg shells and oyster shells, crunch them into a fine powder to speed up the breaking-down process.
Not Balancing Carbon and Nitrogen
Making the perfect type of compost can be a balancing act, and you won’t always get it right. In fact, many gardeners make the mistake of putting too many carbon-rich or nitrogen-rich materials into their compost heaps. However, there can be consequences for doing so. Too much nitrogen, added through grass clippings, green leaves, and food scraps, can result in a terrible odor, while too much carbon materials, like branches, sawdust, and wood ash, can slow the decomposition process.
Not Turning Your Compost
Life gets busy, and you might not always have time to venture into your backyard and turn over your compost pile. However, turning or tumbling at least once a week or more often can be important for aerating it for oxygen delivery. The oxygen generates heat, and without that heat, the decomposition process slows dramatically.
Composting is an affordable and effective way to give your plants the nutrient-rich soil they deserve. However, it’s easy to make mistakes that derail the process. Give your compost a chance of success by avoiding these common errors above.