Composting is the Good Soil

| April 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

To have a healthy garden that’s organically fed you will need to have a compost. And what is a compost? Well composting is a natural process of materials breaking down.  Such materials as food and garden waste. Because millions of microorganisms drive the compost process by breaking organic matter down into a nutrient rich form. Which can then be returned to the garden. As compost, rich in nourishment. Which will then feed the plants and helps them to be healthy and pest resistant.

Also having a compost  helps the environment and gives you a great soil. It will improve soil structure and introduce or replace valuable nutrients. But to have a compost that can feed your garden you need to have the right ingredients to compost.  Also Building a compost is like building a cake. The compost has to be balanced.

There are four important principles to composting. Its called the Adam Recipe.

A-Aliveness

Compost is not just a pile of rotting rubbish. Compost is a living system. It has countless numbers of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and other critters. They eat their way through your compost and turn it into nutrient rich humus. For you to encourage aliveness put your compost directly on the ground.

Two bay compost with old quilt covers to help hold in warmth.

D-Diversity

A diversity of ingredients is what will create a speedy and efficient decomposition process.

A-Aeration

OK now composts do need air. More air less smell. Air in the compost ensures aerobic bacteria will recycle the materials. If you regularly add layers of course material this will keep air flowing. I turn my heap every 10 to 14 days. This helps with aeration as well.

M-Moisture

Also add water to your compost. A dry compost is a compost that is not working properly. Don’t over water. Because it will become smelly. Optimum moisture content 50-60%.

Other Considerations

There other things to consider as well when creating a compost.

Time

So, composting does take time. But its worth the wait. Your finale product should be ready in a about 6 to 10 weeks.

Temperature

So, the micro-organisms in your compost produce heat. The heat is held in the composting materials. I have put an old blanket on the top of my compost. Because it  helps keep the heat in. Also adding blood and bone can help the heating process.

Compost Materials

OK, so as with soil you need to get the ratio of nitrogen and carbon right to ensure a good rate of decomposition. Because too much carbon the process slows down. And too much nitrogen causes odours.

Kitchen waste ready for the compost pile

Nitrogen Rich Materials (green waste)

  • Grass clippings
  • Fruit and vegetable waste
  • Animal manures
  • Coffee grounds/tea leaves/bags
  • Human and animal hair
  • Wool
  • Bread

Nitrogen Poor Materials ( brown waste)

  • Tree pruning’s, small twigs
  • Dry grass clippings
  • Straw, hay, cane mulch
  • Leaves /bark
  • Sawdust
  • Egg cartons
  • Torn or shredded newspaper/cardboard

Other Useful Ingredients

Recycling helps the Earth

  • Wood ash
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Seaweed
  • Cut flowers
  • Old potting mix
  • A sprinkling of blood and bone

DO NOT USE

  • Meat
  • Fish scraps
  • Dairy products
  • Chemicals

Preparing Your Ingredients

Make sure your ingredients have been cut, shredded, ripped into fairly small pieces. You want it to break down as quickly as possible.  You want to make sure all your ingredients have been broken down to smaller pieces, break egg shells etc.

Layering Your Compost

I would start with a layer of brown material around 10cm in depth. Then moisten this layer. Then add a layer of green waste 5-8 cm. Again Water this layer. Then continue to alternate these layers watering as you go. Until all your ingredients are used.

Remember your compost pile will shrink as it decomposes.

Nutrient Rich Compost

Is the Compost Ready?

OK so there is no exact science on when the compost is ready. But if you pick it up and feel it and if it has a crumbly, humus like texture it might very well be ready. Because your compost should smell earthy. So, go ahead and smell it.

Your compost can be used in your pots or straight into the garden, vegetable patch, etc. I would recommend doing 3 compost piles. Because then you would have continuous compost. One being added to. One composting. And one that your using.

Love what you grow, Enjoy.

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Category: Gardening Ideas

About the Author ()

Hi my name Tanya and I am a lover of growing all things in the garden. Its the one place I feel at peace and can rest my soul. From my earliest childhood memory I have always loved the garden. So I hope to be able to pass on some of the information, tips, tricks and of course my passion for Gardening. Love what you grow. Enjoy.

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