Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled. It is a simple way to add nutrient rich humus to fuel plant growth and replenish depleted soil. What more?! It’s free, good for the environment and is very simple. It doesn’t look or smell that great though!
It should be a crime if you own a garden and don’t make your own compost!
Compost would benefit you in several ways:
- As a soil conditioner- Yeah! As good as all those chemicals with scary sounding names.
- Recycling of kitchen and yard waste-Instead of lazily getting rid of waste in a community dustbin a lot can be salvaged.
- Beneficial organisms are introduced to the soil-Those squeamish earthworms and bugs are actually quite good for your plants.
- Environment friendly-And how much we want to show that we’ve gone green!
- Reduction in landfill waste-A landfill is probably the second worse place you could go to, after hell of course!
Questions that may pop into your mind:
What to compost in?
Several methods have been tried and tested. For producing small amounts of compost, trash cans or simple wire compost bins are great. For larger amounts, you could pile the waste matter in a secluded spot and composting will naturally take place.
How much to compost?
I’d say as much as you can. If space is issue, then using the pile method is not an option. Having several trash bins will solve the problem. Composting is an ongoing process so you can keep adding waste to your pile and remove decomposed product simultaneously.
What to compost?
So there are two types of matter you’d be adding to your compost pile; the “greens” and the “browns”. The greens are rich in nitrogen or protein and the browns have a high content of carbohydrates. The greens are responsible for the heating up of the compost pile as it breaks down while the browns are the source of food for those yummy microbes that breakdown organic matter.
List of browns:
- Fall leaves, pine needles, twigs, chipped bark
- Straw, hay, sawdust, corn stalks
- Any paper, dryer lint, cotton fabric and wax-less cardboard
List of greens:
- Grass clippings, vegetable and food scraps, seaweed
- Coffee grounds, tea bags
- Trimmings from perennial and annual plants, weeds without seeds
- Eggshells, animal manure (other than that of dogs and cats)
You would definitely want to have more browns than greens in your compost mixture. An approximate ratio of 2 parts browns to 1 part greens should do. Also shredding all these materials into smaller bits is bountiful. Just makes it easier for them microbes! Happy composting!