So you’re interested in gardening and don’t know about composting or perhaps you’ve been giving a thought to it but cant bring yourself to start the process. Yes there are misconceptions related to composting; its complex, messy, and it smells bad. All those things are true only if you go about composting the wrong way. However, do it right and it gives you wonderful results like a rich soil and a solid base for you to grow plants and vegetables. Below we list the best way you can go about creating a good organic compost pile at home.
The first thing to remember about composting is that not all waste in your home can be converted into an organic compost pile. Below is a handy list of what and what not to compost.
DO – vegetable and fruit scraps from your refrigerator, eggshells, coffee grounds, dry leaves, straw.
DON’T – meat, dairy products, feces (dog or cat), animal carcass.
Fast and slow hot and cold
There are two types of composting: hot and cold.
In cold compost you can just dump all scraps mentioned above in a pile/bin in your back garden and wait for it to decompose. This process could take well over a year.
Hot compost however is a quicker process. During warm weather your scraps can turn into compost in as little as two or three months.
Choose a spot
Preferably your backyard is the perfect place for composting. If it gets a lot of sun that’s even better. Once you’ve chosen a spot you can place a bin there. You can even mark a roughly rectangular area and deposit your scraps there. If you want to enclose it inside a wooden construction that’s even better.
Keep in mind: the pile or the bin should be no more than 3 feet in height.
Layer it don’t dump it
Once you have the area decided you can proceed to the more fun part of the composting. Composting should be done in three layers: carbon, nitrogen, and topsoil. Be sure to have a heady mixture of these three and you’ll have a perfect compost. Below is a brief description.
Carbon – untreated sawdust, leaves, hay straw etc.
Nitrogen – vegetable and fruit wastes, manure, fertilizers.
Topsoil – avoid soils containing insecticides and you’re good to go.
Add twigs if you want. They guarantee proper air flow.
Bacteria love moisture. Without moisture your scrap will remain what it is in the beginning just scrap. Sprinkle some water into your bin so it becomes roughly soggy. Don’t overdo it however. Oxygen will make sure that your scraps don’t rot and smell. A good combination of moisture and oxygen would mean that your mixture would smell earthy and not give out stench like a waste-pile.
Once you have achieved the above steps it’s time to let your compost sit and do its own thing. Keep any eye on your compost and stir it, overturn it every two weeks or so.
Maintaining an at home compost is much better than buying soil from the store because it allows you to make use of waste you’d normally throw away. We hope this has given the gardener in you enough confidence to start composting.