Compost is the product of decomposed organic matter (things like kitchen scraps, leaves, grass and other garden waste). Organic material like this will decompose with or without any assistance from you, but why not help it along and reap the benefits of your own compost pile?
Compost is not considered a fertilizer because it does not really contain a high level of essential nutrients. It is viewed as a soil conditioner and does serve many other important functions. Compost can attract insects such as earthworms and it can also improve the composition or structure of your soil.
You can try cold composting, which basically means just letting the organic material sit in the bin. This takes a lot longer than hot composting where you turn your pile every few days to supply oxygen to the organisms in your pile.
The first thing you will need to decide is where to start your compost pile. Check with your city to ensure that there are no by-laws or ordinances that might prevent you from having a compost pile or placing it where you want it. You need to remember that a compost pile can get messy so be sure to place your pile within easy reach of the hose to deal with any dirt and muck. Bugs will delight in your new compost pile and make it their new home, so be sure to keep that in mind when deciding on a location. A little corner of your garden that is far enough away from your home and any neighboring properties is probably the ideal spot for your new compost pile.
There are many, many composite products on the market now. There are even gadgets that shake, rattle and roll your compost for you, but really the only investment you need to make is a compost container. You can simply fence off your compost pile or you can use some kind of bin or container to hold your organic material. This can be homemade or recycled from a large plastic bin you have around the house or you can purchase one at your local garden center. The bins designed specifically for composting come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but the important thing is to keep it simple. You really don't need to spend a lot of money on gadgets you don't need.
A good compost pile starts with layers of waste and soil. You can start off layering leaves, grass clippings and leaves over the soil and then start adding your kitchen waste. You can add things like eggshells, fruit and vegetable scraps, and coffee grounds to your compost pile. You should never ever add meat or pet waste to your compost pile. Once you have your initial layers of garden and kitchen waste, add a layer of soil and manure.
Your compost pile needs to be kept moist, though it should never be wet. You can add some water whenever your pile seems to be getting dry. You could consider adding some beer to your composite pile. Beer contains yeast which will help keep the bacteria in your compost pile and keep those little critters happy. Whether you add a mix of beer and water or just H20, the important thing is to keep that pile moist.
Your compost pile does not require a lot of maintenance. You want to be sure that you continue adding garden and kitchen waste to your pile and that you also mix in enough soil and manure to encourage faster decomposing. You need to keep the pile moist and you should also turn your compost pile about once a week to improve circulation and the decomposing process.
Compost is ready when it looks like dark soil and has an earthy smell. You can now start incorporating your compost into your garden! You can also use compost in your home plants - but be warned that it must be sterilized first. To do this, you must bake your compost in a 200F oven for approximately thirty minutes.
There really is no best way to compost. Organic matter will decompose regardless of what you do. What's important is finding a method or style that works for you and your gardening needs
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