Composting is fast becoming the preferred fertilizer and soil conditioner for all gardeners in the know. Indeed, there is probably nothing that is better for your garden than homegrown compost. There are many natural advantages to creating your own compost, including increased fertility, cost and efficiency. Here are some uncomplicated compost ideas for your little garden.
What is Compost?
But maybe you are new to the world of compost, or need a little refresher. There is good reason why so many experienced gardeners swear by compost. Straight compost can easily take care of all your garden’s fertilizing needs, including fertilizing your lawn, flowers, shrubs, fruit trees and vegetables. Essentially, compost is what is created when organic material breaks down and decomposes in an enclosed area. For instance, in a composting bin, organic matter breaks down with help from the moisture in that enclosed area. Many chemical reactions take place that allow for the decomposition of the material. The combination of heat and moisture create a dark, earthy material called hummus. In essence, compost is nature’s way of recycling used organic material into rich new earth.
Why Your Garden Needs Compost
All good, healthy gardens need the ingredients that are contained in compost. Most notably, compost is composed of nitrogen, along with more than a dozen of other essential nutrients and micronutrients. Compost imbues soil with the micro biotic activity that it needs in order to begin producing. Thus, soil that has been mixed with compost will become more hospitable to plants, feeding the roots of all kinds of plants and creating the kind of environment that will allow your plants to thrive.
How to Make Your Very Own Compost
Start your own compost pile today and you will have good compost in about six months time. Here is an easy recipe for making your own compost. First, choose a spot for your compost. Ideally, you would like to have a bin, but a cleared off corner will do. In general, you want your compost to be composed of 40% browns, 40% greens and 20% steer manure or chicken. Browns refer to organic material that is naturally brown, including sawdust, dry leaves, twigs, straw and paper, including shredded newspaper and junk mail. Greens include such organic materials as overripe fruit, grass clippings, vegetables, landscape trimmings, spent blossoms and blooms, flower stems and others.
Easy Tips for Maintaining Your Compost Pile
Here are some easy tips for maintaining your compost pile. You will want to blend manure into your green and brown material. Try to layer your greens and browns in your composing area. Don’t let your compost pile go dry. Add water periodically and use a pitchfork to turn your pile on a regular basis. Ideally, you want your compost pile to be moist, but not too moist. Aim for it to be about as moist as a wrung out sponge. Every week, use your pitchfork to turn your pile. When you add new organic material to your compost pile, try to layer the browns over the greens.
No Fuss, No Muss Composting for Your Little Garden
There are a lot of easy way to compost with no fuss and no muss. If you don’t have enough room in your yard for a full-scale compost bin in your yard, you can start small. Keep a compost kitchen pail by your sink so that you have somewhere to throw out food scraps. Once the compost kitchen pail is full, you can empty outside in your garden. Let nature take over and do its work. The organic material will eventually break down and enrich your soil, creating food for your garden.