What about the Process of Composting?What about the Process of Composting?
Today I want to write about one very important thing for all gardeners. The normal gardener will not plant home garden seeds without using it first. I am sure you all have it somewhere in your garden. It’s called a compost pile.
To make good compost for planting your home garden seeds or seedlings, you need organic material plus microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc.) and other small creatures that will break down that material.
To get the best compost the most quickly, you’ll have to keep the microbes happy. The three elements for making them happy are the right amount of moisture, enough oxygen, and the right types of food.
Let’s talk about the food first
A lot of people add special chemicals but there is a much better way to have a great harvest. It is cost-effective (actually it won’t cost you anything!), healthier and easy. The secret is – nature around you. Yes, nature and nowadays mass production gives a lot for your compost heap.
To survive, the bacterias in your compost pile need carbon and nitrogen.
Carbon is supplied by “brown” ingredients such as leaves and spent plants (anything that used to be growing as a plant in any shape or form except weeds). They are great for making compost and you can use it for your flower beds in spring.
Nitrogen comes from “green” ingredients such as grass clippings and kitchen waste. If you cook at home, you can add, mandarins, bananas, apples, or other fruits and vegetables. Used coffee and tea (even in a teabag) can be added as well. You can also add eggshells. They contain a lot of Calcium and are very good for the soil.
The suggested ratio of browns to greens in your compost bin is 25 to 1 – basically, you need 25 times more browns than greens.
If you’ve got a farm or live somewhere nearby you can use horse and chicken manure. If you’ll use horse
manure, leave it for a year or so as fresh manure can be too hot and burn the plants.
Keep your compost pile damp
Your compost bin has to be damp, but not too wet. It must be about as wet as a moist sponge. If you haven’t got rain for too long, you’ll need to add some water to your compost pile. If there’s too much rain, you’ll need to add some organic material to reduce the wetness.
Oxygen in your compost pile
The bacterias also need oxygen to survive. So you should turn your compost pile from time to time or use a compost aerator (a stick that you into the pile to make holes for the air to enter). If you’re using a compost tumbler, then you’ll just need to turn the tumbler itself.
You should turn the compost pile and aerate it at least every 3 to 5 days. Turning the compost frequently will ruin the decomposing process.
The things you should not add in the compost pile:
Don’t add anything to animal nature. Meat, cheese, etc.
Excrements from domestic animals. They can carry bacteria that aren’t good for us.
Old veggie plants that may have shown any sign of disease.
Some useful advice:
Keep in mind that the leaves from some of the trees can change the acidity of the soil. So it is better to add lime to neutralize after you’ve added the compost to your garden.
Do not burn your leaves. It is polluting nature and can be a disaster for anyone nearby who has breathing problems. In nature, these leaves would be on the ground and degrading, anyway. It is better either to compost the leaves or have your municipality to collect them.
Ok, now you are fully aware of benefits nature gives you and can plant your home garden seeds.
Compost or composting
A good way of fertilizing your vegetable patch or ornamental garden is to make compost in a part of the garden. Compost provides the humus necessary for microbe development and the fertilizers needed for the proper growth of your plants. 2 to 3 % of humus is lost every year, as it mineralizes to provide elements needed for plant growth. This loss must, therefore, be compensated by putting compost or it’s equivalent into the soil. Note that compost will provide only 10% of its weight in hummus.
Composting generally lasts the six months of Spring and Summer. For a more profound treatment in the Autumn, you can incorporate it into the soil by spade or spread it on the surface of your patch or around the shrubs.
It is also an ecological way of recycling vegetable and certain kitchen waste.
You simply have to place the composter in a part of your garden, out of sight if possible, into which you put layers of waste.
Composting is not only for owners of gardens. It can also be done on a balcony, providing you have a suitable composter.
The Elements of Compost
You mustn’t use only one element in your compost, as supplies of carbon and nitrogen must be balanced.
- grass clippings, which provide a lot of nitrogen (don’t use too much)
- wood ash, which contains a little potassium
- sawdust and wood chips
- vegetable and fruit waste, only if they haven’t been treated ( they usually have been – even potatoes are treated against sprouting)
- some cardboard boxes without print, such as egg boxes, corrugated paper, and toilet paper rolls. Don’t use colored paper, which contains poisonous metals. Black ink is normally made from carbon. Cardboard boxes provide carbon, which helps to balance the compost, as vegetable waste supplies nitrogen mostly
- newspaper, which should be shredded beforehand
- vegetable parings should be crushed. Breaking their fibers allows them to absorb water and micro-organisms easier, which facilitates fermentation
- animal manure from horses, pigs, and cattle, but not manure from intensive farming because of the various products used (medicines, etc.)
- wheat or other types of straw
- certain textiles made from natural fibers
- leftover soil from flower pots or window boxes
- coffee dregs are rich in nitrogen and trace elements, and coffee filters are usually biodegradable
- grape marc
- animal bedding
- pork rind, cheese crusts
- fish leftovers
- hazelnut, walnut, pistachio shells…
- whole nettle plants before flowering
- conifer needles, which provide an acidic humus
- seaweed should be soaked in rainwater beforehand. It is rich in trace elements
- hair, nails, feathers…..the bigger elements should be crushed
- undamaged leaves
- wilted flowers or bunches of flowers
Avoid using sprouting weeds and get rid of the roots. Leftover meat, which attracts rats and may produce unpleasant smells, should also be avoided.
Did you know?
- A tonne of organic waste makes about 500 kilos of compost.
They do not eat the same foods and no one will feed their pile of composting in the same way or use the same composting technique. he is very difficult to answer this question. Yet, everyone poses and wants an answer. The decomposition time of the materials deposited in the composter will depend on attention to the composting process, ie the intervention more or less frequent of the human. Humidification, ventilation, location the composter, the wind, and the diversity of the materials incorporated are all of which have an impact on the rate of decomposition. It is possible to produce compost within three months and three years. But in general, if we incorporate all the kitchen residues into the composter, which is aerated every two weeks, that the moisture content is checked and that we empty the composter at least once a year, we should have compost in less than 12 months.
To obtain compost in three months. When using the gradual heap method, this which is chosen by most people, obtaining a compost can vary between eight months and three years (depending on the care you bring to the pile).
No matter how you decide to compost, the result will be always composted. Even if you do not follow all the instructions and tips given in this guide you will get in a long time (maximum three years) a finished and usable compost. Remember that the process of Organic material recycling is natural and nothing is wizarding about it; we do not try to speed up the process using more or fewer techniques breakouts.
Composting in One Year
In the spring: leave the compost pile and fill it until the end of autumn, according to the method mentioned in the Comment.
-If the brown matter is scarce in the spring, it is possible to use shredded newspaper and/or soil to cover green materials.
In the fall: install the composter near the house and store them until early spring. Storing dead leaves in bags (5 to 6 bags) to use this carbon-rich material the spring following. Brew break all winter!
And … As the Seasons go by Fall
Late in the fall, it’s interesting to change the composter room for the empty of its contents and bring it closer to the house; it will be more accessible during the cold season. To do this, it is necessary to remove the anchoring screws on the ground (if the chosen model has one) and simply lift and move the plastic box.
Cover the composting pile left on the spot with film plastic will protect it from the weather. This compost pile wrapped plastic will have had time to reach some maturation during winter and will be ready to use the next spring.
Then, it will be necessary to leave the compost pile in the new place, the same way as when it starts at nine, taking care to make a nest in the bottom of the container (bubble in the margin on page 30). Do not forget to keep dead leaves in plastic bags so you can use it the next spring.
Early in the spring (mid-March) there is a lot of work. It’s almost the only period when you have to work hard. If the composter is full of materials stored during the winter (especially remains of the kitchen), it is time to perform a complete turnaround, to hand over the composter in its summer location and rebuild the pile. Proceed in alternation: put a shovel of materials stored during the winter and a shovel of carbonaceous material (dead leaves kept in sacks plastic during the winter) until the pile is assembled. This will allow also to absorb the excess water that will have accumulated during the thaw of the pile. This new pile of spring, in the bottom of which we will have made a nest (as for a new pile) and in which we will have alternated in almost ideal green and brown materials, will only take a few weeks to get break down. Why?
– First Because the freeze and thaw periods during the winter will have made the very friable materials and they will decompose more easily;
– Second Because we paid attention to the carbon/nitrogen balance at the time of reconstruction of the pile in the spring;
– 03 Because the volume of stuff, about 1 cubic meter, will be ideal;
– 04 Because without knowing if you apply the shepherd’s method. Winter compost will be ready for late spring gardening (June). A second turnaround of the heap towards the end of April will also help speed up the process. It is also possible to build this new spring pile next to the composter and cover it with plastic wrap. We will cease to deposit fresh materials and it will be very easy to use the compost once it has matured.
And the Sieving Step will be Eliminated!
At this stage, we will have a pile that has matured all winter and can be used for spring needs. A heap that will mature and is ready by the end of the summer (or maybe by the end of July), because it will have been assembled at one time, will heat considerably. In the empty composter, we will start storing again materials from spring until the following autumn. And the cycle starts again!
For more information watch this video:
Table of Contents
- 1 What about the Process of Composting?
- 1.1 The Elements of Compost