Create Miracles in Your Soil – Become a Master of Composting with Our Step-by-Step Guide
It’s a crime against good gardening and the environment to burn leaves and grass (unless they are diseased or polluted) because every scrap of organic vegetable matter should be converted to compost — and compost can be the most valuable property in your garden.
If we could secure unlimited quantities of animal manure, our need for compost would not be so acute; but in the absence of manure, compost is the one thing which can restore humus to your soil, and give you success in your gardening.
In some respects, compost, properly made, is even superior to stable manure. It contains almost every element which growing things need; and it restores to the soil much of the material extracted by the roots of preceding crops.
The essence of it is to store waste vegetable matter in such conditions that it will rot down quickly – and “vegetable matter” includes leaves, weeds, lawn. cuttings, kitchen vegetable tops and scraps – skins and leaves, spent flowers, pulled-up plants, tea leaves, and every other scrap of soft stuff from your garden – don’t include hard-wooded pruning cuttings, and such-like; they take far too long to rot, and they’ll only become a nuisance.
For traditional composting in larger gardens, use either a pit or a heap — the heap entails less work. Make the first layer about 40 cm deep (it will rot more quickly if you chop it up with a spade), and sprinkle it with a handful of lime and a dusting of complete
Cover & Water Compost
Give your compost pile a thin coating of earth; and then add a second layer in the same way. Each successive layer is sprinkled with lime and
Two points are important: keep it covered with earth, at the sides as well as the top; and protect it from rain. Don’t let it ever become saturated with water – it needs to be only moist.
As your heap gains size and bulk, it will generate, within itself, terrific heat; and if the heat disappears before decomposition is almost complete, it probably will mean too much – or too little water. If that happens, turn it all over, dust it again with lime and
If the heap is “working” well, it will look after any casual grass seed which finds
Composting ‘Greens’ and ‘Browns’ at Home
Have a good mix of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’ making up your compost pile and try layering like lasagna. A layer of brown material like leaves or shredded paper and a layer of green material like kitchen scraps or grass clippings. Specific items as to what is considered browns and what’s considered greens. Leaves can go both ways. If they are green/more alive then they can
A Composting Warning
Never: throw into the compost any invasive weeds, or diseased plants suffering from rust, wilt, or leaf spot. All forms of root rot (and that includes nematodes) also should be burned. If you put stuff like that into your compost, you’re only storing trouble for next season.
Camphor Laurel Leaves
These leaves are harmful to the soil if they are dug in green and fresh; there is
camphor in them to affect root growth nearby. But used, or put into the compost heap, they are harmless— although not much good. They are the one leaf Which perhaps better burned or used as mulch.
Avoid adding pine needles as they take a very long time to break down and can make your soil more acid than ideal.
Composting in a Small Garden
The Compost ‘Trench’ or ‘Hole’ Method
If you can’t keep a compost pile because your garden is small or because animals that may get into it try burying the scraps which will solve the problem. Dig a deep hole (a trench is better) in the garden, dump in your collection of kitchen scraps every few days, then cover with dirt. It”s amazing how quickly it will break down, attract worms, and change the soil composition for the better.
Compost Bins and Tumblers
It does take a bit of time to get a new compost pile started – mine took about 3 months to really start breaking down.
For my first
What to Compost
Food scraps make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away compost them instead.
What you should compost
Hair and fur
Manure from herbivores
Shredded paper (plain)
Fruits and vegetables
Coffee grounds and filters
Hay and straw
Compost with caution
Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese
Weeds and seed
Pet waste from carnivorous animals
Meat and bone scraps
Coloured or glossy paper
Mayonnaise, salad dressing
Fats, oils, grease
Garden trimmings with pesticides or herbacides
Ashes (coal or charcoal)
Plastic or metal
- Coffee grounds, eggshells, banana peels
isa super potent nitrogen compost mix
- No meat, poultry, or fish or greasy items in compost. Mainly food that can be grown from the ground
- Be sure there aren’t any chemicals used on the lawn before you add to compost, they have a long life and will end up in your food!
- If you have back problems buy a rotating compost bin so you don’t have to fork turn your pile
- Garden lime can help mask the smell of things rotting and breaks down organic matter faster
- Keep a compost caddy in your kitchen to take out to your pile – you’ll be surprised how much good stuff you were throwing away
- Home composting doesn’t get hot enough to kill weed seeds, so avoid adding them to your heap
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