Garden Compost: Everything you need to know about compost

We have already talked in other posts about the  benefits of composting in the garden As this garden compost is something that is of great interest to garden lovers, organic farmers, curious and gardening enthusiasts, during this time in Agrohuerto doubts and questions have arisen on this subject.

Questions and answers about garden compost

We are going to make a summary with the doubts about compost so that at a glance you can get an idea of ​​the keys to composting and the problems that may arise.

1. What is garden compost?

Compost is a fertilizer material that we can make ourselves taking advantage of organic waste from the garden and kitchen .

Little by little, the piled up material (on the ground or in a compost bin or container) is decomposed thanks to the beneficial microorganisms found in the soil or in the remains of crops.

A few weeks or months later, a dark and homogeneous product is obtained that may look like earth but is actually a rich and complete compost for the garden.

2. Benefits of compost

Garden compost is  one of the most complete natural fertilizers because, having many types of residues, the variety of nutrients it contains is very wide.

Also because it  contributes beneficial microorganisms to the soil In addition, by doing it ourselves, we are recycling materials and waste from the garden and kitchen, making ours a more ecological and sustainable garden and saving money that we would spend on artificial fertilizers.

3. What materials can I use to compost and which ones can I not?

To make homemade compost you can use stems, leaves and other green plant remains from our crops, cut grass, kitchen waste such as fruit and vegetable remains, fish bones, coffee, tea bags, algae, manure and slurry … Also waste rich in carbon or “brown”: straw and hay, sawdust, pruning remains and woody bark, dry leaves, shredded paper or cardboard, shells of nuts or eggs, pine needles …

You should NOT use to make compost : non-degradable material such as ceramic remains, glass, plastics, aluminum foil, containers …

Neither wood that has been treated or cork, remains of diseased plants or weeds that we have eliminated from the garden, human excrement or pets, scraps of meat, bones or fatty foods …

4. Do I need to buy a bin or composter?

You do not need to buy it, you can make a drawer with wooden planks, pallets, metal mesh … or simply stack it on the floor in a pile.

In the post Urban Gardening, Composting and Planting   and in the urban garden on the roof of the Anken Rooftop in Shanghai, we saw how they used several bins for compost , one for the most recent remains and one for the more mature compost.

5. What do I do if the compost smells bad?

Add sawdust or dry soil from your garden, which will absorb moisture and help the reactions that cause the bad smell to stop occurring. Also turning it over with a shovel or pitchfork so that it aerates and does not produce inappropriate fermentations.

6. How long does it take to compost?

Four to five weeks to a few months . It depends on the temperature and humidity: at very low temperatures the remains take longer to decompose, and there must also be sufficient humidity to accelerate the process, so irrigation with turning from time to time is necessary if it is seen that the materials are dry.

The maturation time also depends on the size of the components, the smaller and more crumbled we add them to the carrier, the less work and time it will take for the microorganisms to convert them into garden compost.

7. How many types of compost are there?

Many, since the final result depends on all the added components and the quantities, on the maturation time … There are hundreds of possibilities …

Some special types of compost are, for example, bocashi compost , or vermicompost , the latter made thanks to the worms that live inside it. To make vermicompost, the most used worms are those of the spice  Eisenia foetida (earthworm, red worm or Red worm), but you can also buy Eisenia hortensis.

These seven are just a few of the most frequently asked questions new to  composting . But surely many more can arise! Encourage us in the comments to raise your doubts on the subject or suggestions for future posts.

If you want to learn more about how to make homemade compost step by step I leave you this link that I wrote with some tips for composting at home .

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