Do you want to make your plants grow organically? If you are on a tight budget but still want the best only for your plants, you can opt to create a compost. As an organic material, Compost will not cause any harm to plants and humans.
Considering that almost 28 percent of the things we throw are composed of yard waste and food scraps, you can create an organic fertilizer in no time. These materials will be kept away from the land areas where they produce methane and take up too much space through composting.
In this post, we will tackle three topics; the basics of composting, the benefits you can get from composting, and tips to start home composting. So, if you are interested to learn about this topic, keep on reading.
The Basics of Composting
When creating a compost, you need to gather; water, greens, and browns. When we say greens, it refers to the materials, including coffee grounds, fruit scraps, vegetable waste, and grass clippings. Brown ingredients refer to the materials, such as twigs, branches, and dead leaves. You cannot create a healthy compost if you only use greens and browns as your ingredients. In other words, a combination of browns, greens, and water is crucial for a good and healthy development of Compost.
When creating a compost pile, you need to make sure that the greens and browns ingredients have the same amount. In addition to that, these organic materials should be cut into pieces with different sizes. The three ingredients mentioned above offer different benefits. Water produces moisture that will help the materials to break down into pieces. The green materials are known to produce and release nitrogen, while the brown materials produce carbon components.
Materials to Compost
A common misconception by many about composting is that they think every waste around them are compostable. Some materials are advisable and not advisable to Compost. The following are the materials you can use to start composting.
- Fireplace ashes
- Fur and hair
- The lint in the vacuum cleaner and dryer
- Wool and cotton rags
- Wood chips
- Straw and hay
- Grass clippings
- Yard trimmings
- Shredded newspaper
- Coffee filters and grounds
- Veggies and fruits
Materials not to Compost
The materials listed above are good for composting. As mentioned, not all wastes around you can be used for composting. Some things are not compostable. These are the following;
- Yard trimmings are considered good material for composting only if it is untreated with pesticides and other chemicals. This is because it can kill the good organisms live in your Compost.
- If you have dogs or cats, make sure not to include their waste to your Compost. Pet wastes might contain viruses, pathogens, germs, bacteria, and parasites that are harmful to plants and humans.
- Scarps, fish bones, or meat bones are also a No-No for composting. These materials can attract various pests, including flies and rodents, that can cause odor problems.
- Like scarps, fish and meat bones, oils, lard, grease, or fats are also an unhealthy composting material as it can attract flies and rodents.
- Plants are good material for composting. But insect-ridden or diseased plants are not included as the plant’s insects or diseases might be transferred to others.
- Materials such as charcoal or coal ash are not included for a good composting material as it might contain harmful chemicals and substances.
- Black walnut tree twigs or leaves. These materials are a big NO for composting because of the possible release of harmful substances.
What are the Advantages of Composting?
Composting provides you three main benefits, including the following;
- It reduces the human carbon footprint while lowering the release of methane compounds from the landfills.
- It improves the creation of fungi and bacteria that are beneficial to plants. These organisms help to produce humus by breaking down the organic matter.
- Composting is beneficial for gardeners who are on a tight budget. With composting, you don’t need to purchase expensive fertilizers that are mixed with chemicals.
- It protects the plants from pests and diseases while maintaining a good moisture of the soil.
How to Start Home Composting
You can create a compost pile in many ways. The following are some of them. To start home composting, you will need water hoses, square-point machetes (if none, you can use shovels), and pitchforks. To maintain a good-quality compost, you need to add some water into it or mix it more frequently.
There are two ways you can do to start home composting. The first one is through backyard composting. To do this, you need to pick a shady and dry area in your backyard near a water source. This is where you will create a compost bin or pile. After that, you can now add your collected green and brown ingredients. Make sure to cut or shred the large pieces into small ones.
After establishing your compost pile, start planting vegetable and fruit waste into it with some green waste and grass clippings. Lastly, you can now cover the top of the Compost with plastic to maintain its moisture. When you notice that the compost pile materials are already dark, it is an indication that your organic fertilizer is now ready to use. But, before you enjoy it, you need to wait for about two months.
The second way is through indoor composting. This is a good composting method to those who don’t have enough space to create a compost pile. To Compost indoors, you will need a bin that can be purchased from a gardening supplies store or hardware store.
Indoor composting is more sensitive than outdoor composting. You need to keep an eye to the materials you put in there. Manage it properly to avoid attracting rodents or pests. This will also benefit you to prevent smelly Compost. When you do indoor composting, you can use your Compost two weeks to one month after you create it.