Is your garden looking a little drab? Or you are throwing away too much organic food waste?
According to studies, organic waste makes up 21.9% of U.S landfills — which includes an extensive amount of food waste.
But what does this have to do with you and your garden?
Home composting may be a new concept to you, and you might have never understood its purpose.
Will it really help your garden soil, or are you just creating a smelly pile of waste?
You’re probably wondering what compost materials to use, or even how to do it correctly.
Is it just a new-fangled fad, or does the concept of home composting have any substance?
Here, we’ll show you why composting is something new that you should delve into, and the advantages of doing so.
We will help you nail composting and keep your garden green and energy-friendly.
Richard has the right idea…
Major Reasons to Start Composting
To some, it might seem to be a lot of unnecessary work with little benefit, but they’re wrong.
Composting at home has many benefits, for yourself and the environment.
Let’s walk you through some of these advantages. By the end, you will understand the importance of composting.
- It reduces your usage of harmful chemical fertilizers.
Over time, chemical fertilizers harden soil and result in decreased fertility.
They do not replenish nutrients, as you may think. Instead, they only increase nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels and cause root burn.
Fertilizers contribute to environmental pollution, resulting in increased greenhouse gases and climate change.
By reducing your usage of chemical fertilizers, you will decrease these negative effects.
- It naturally enriches the soil.
Compost aids in recovery from contamination by hazardous waste substances. It slowly releases micro and macronutrients over a long time.
Soil pH is key in providing nutrients to plants and organic compost neutralizes the soil. It works as a buffer to balance alkalinity and acidity.
- It helps moisture retention.
When the ground has enough nutrients, there is less need for watering.
Thus, you save water.
It works because the compost binds clusters of sandy soil particles, improving its overall structure.
This optimal structure has tiny air channels and pores that hold moisture and air.
Conversely, composting loosens clay and silt particles to help drainage. This lets the plant roots spread and improves the air circulation around them.
- It helps suppress plant diseases and pests.
Research has shown compost reduces the effect of root rot and stem blight.
It also eradicates pests, like parasitic worms, and prevents their eggs from hatching.
By providing vital nutrients, healthy fungi readily grow and destroy the harmful nematodes.
- It reduces methane emissions to lower your carbon footprint.
By reducing the amount of your waste going into landfills, you help decrease harmful greenhouse gases such as methane.
Studies have shown that the United States has the world’s highest annual methane emissions with 130 million metric tons.
By composting, you could help reduce this number, contributing positively to reduce climate change.
An Easy Guide to Quick Composting
So zero waste composting seems like a great option, right?
You can have thriving vegetables that are 100% organic and fill your flower bed with bright blossoms without risking pests or harmful diseases.
In addition, you can put your food scraps to good use and generate useful microorganisms.
Research shows that the ideal carbon-rich compost should have a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 25:1.
Use materials like food scraps, leaves, and coffee grounds to achieve this ideal ratio.
All these outstanding advantages may make you want to jump right in!
Small-scale composting however takes time.
The breakdown of organic materials is a slow process but results in nitrogen-rich soil.
When making compost at home, it may take years to break down organic material to make viable compost.
However, don’t let this shake your resolve!
There are ways to speed up the composting process. Keep reading and find out how!
If you wish, you can even make use of compost bins.
Keep your compost pile damp as moisture speeds up the breakdown process.
Regularly turn the pile and add water if you see any dry patches.
You can test the moisture content by grabbing a handful of compost and squeezing it.
Ideally, a few drops of water should appear.
If none appear, or a full trickle appears, it means you have too little or too much water.
Aeration gives the microorganisms in your compost the oxygen they need to survive. By creating air spaces, you help speed up the decomposition process.
Add wood chips, shredded cardboard, or sticks, then fully turn the heap as often as possible.
This Reddit user gives some advice about the advantages of adding woodchips to your manure:
This huge compost fork lets you easily turn your compost with no hassle.
Shred Waste into Smaller Pieces
When a compost pile contains large chunks of waste, there is less surface area for the bacteria to work on.
There is no problem in throwing in entire pieces of organic matter, but it is advisable to chop them up.
This will increase the exposed surface area and hasten decomposition.
Use Worm Composting
Red wigglers are compost worms that can eat their own weight in decaying material in but one day.
When they push the material through their gut, it contains one thousand times the amount of microorganisms than what it did when consumed.
As your nutrient-rich compost cools down, worms move in, but if necessary, you can add them in the early stages.
Create the Correct Size of Compost Pile
Compost heaps need heat – the higher the temperature, the faster the rate of decomposition. The size of the heap or bin will determine the amount of heat emitted.
A larger pile or bin will have a higher core temperature.
Aim for a 3-5 square feet cubed pile of brown materials and green materials.
Another option is to use compost bins of this size to achieve the perfect amount of soil amendment.
If you do not have enough organic matter, use leaves, or grass clippings to increase the volume.
Start Your Journey to Successful Home Composting
Composting is a straightforward process and highly satisfying as you watch your plants thrive.
When making compost at home, collect your scraps in a sealed container then transfer to a bin or heap.
Try this 6-gallon stainless steel compost pail that lets you collect kitchen scraps without the smelly mess.
Take a look at why this is the perfect scrap collector for your kitchen:
Once you have collected the scraps of food, fruits, and vegetables, you can add yard waste such as leaves.
Make sure to transfer these to a bin regularly.
Composting bins are a great way to ensure quality compost, without outside interference.
We believe in using the most eco-friendly products when gardening. Our recycled plastic compost bin is the best option to place in your yard.
The hinged lids make it easy to throw in your organic materials, and it can hold up to 82 gallons of material.
This is more than enough to give your new plants a constant supply of compost!
You can keep the compost materials away from scavengers and rodents, and you can also control the amount of moisture.
Remember, we are here to offer the highest quality bins, along with useful advice and tips to ensure your finished compost is a success!
Featured image: needpix.com