Gardening

How to make Compost for the garden step by step: Video tutorial

Very good to all gardeners. The truth is that I had not dared to talk about how to make compost until I had finished making mine, and almost a year after setting up the compost heap I have obtained good results with very little effort, so I am here to tell you about my experience :

Introduction to compost

Composting is key to the ecological management of your garden, through composting you not only get a very good organic fertilizer for your plants but you also reuse the waste generated by your own garden to give them a greater benefit. The process of making compost is slow and can be scary due to our inexperience, we think that it can be spoiled or it will not be effective and that is why we do not start composting in our garden or our house …

After doing mine, I can tell you that with a minimum of care and precautions you can make good quality compost and although the process is not completely perfect you can always find a utility for the garden either to start a new compost or create a organic mulching that retains the humidity of your beds, so without further ado, let’s see what steps to follow to make compost.

Compost or pile composting

To compost you need a physical space to store your waste, which is known as a compost bin. Now you can choose between boxing your waste heap in a structure or not, since the composting process is also carried out in the heap itself.

Make compost in a drawer: This way of composting is very useful when your volume of waste is small. For the drawers you can use both recycled pallets and containers as long as they have holes to facilitate the aeration of the compost pile and some structure, such as hatches that allow you to add the waste, turn it over and extract it once it matures.

Composting in a heap or pile: You can also compost your waste without covering it with any structure, this way of composting is more advisable if your volume of waste is very high and contains waste from different sources.

How to compost step by step

Well, once we have the space, we have to fill it, for this we will pile up two types of waste, dry and wet, in a 1: 2 ratio to maintain an adequate Carbon / Nitrogen ratio, not lose moisture inside the compost and that the process develops correctly.

Dry waste : These waste have a high concentration of carbon, therefore they are difficult to degrade and only one part of them is added for every 2 parts of wet waste. For the dry residue you can use: Sawdust, paper and cardboard, cereal straw (wheat, oats, rye, barley …), vine shoots, pruning branches of trees and shrubs etc …

Wet waste : These waste have a high concentration of nitrogen, nitrogen is easily degraded and lost, therefore 2 parts of wet waste are added for each part of dry waste. For the wet residue you can use: Fresh vegetable remains, freshly cut legumes, grass, manure etc …

Be careful when adding grass because its high water content can cause it to rot quickly, producing bad odors … It is best to let it dry a little earlier.

Waste that CANNOT be composted:

For the process to develop correctly there are some elements that you can never put in your compost bin and others that are better to avoid, such as:

Domestic animal droppings, everything related to tobacco (they have compounds that inhibit some bacteria), diapers, magazines, non-organic materials (plastic, synthetic fabrics, glass …). It is also advisable to avoid: Acidic foods, meats, fish, dairy products, products that contain fats, etc …

Compost evolution: What tasks to do

Once we have the compost full, to make compost we must pay attention to the kinetics of composting, how our compost pile evolves depending on the temperature, humidity and pH.

If you have made a good mix of waste, 2 wet by 1 dry, you will have fewer problems but still you have to carry out some tasks to ensure the success of our compost bin:

Flip: We will remove the compost pile a couple of times a week so that the decomposing organisms have enough oxygen to function and that our compost does not compact and rot producing bad odors.

Watering: If you have added two parts of wet for each one of dry, you will not have so many humidity problems, you can still water the compost pile periodically with urine or let the rain fall on the pile (do not cover the compost bin).

Whenever you can, protect your pile from sudden changes in temperature and periodically add other small shredded remains (they will occupy less volume in the compost bin) to activate the microorganisms inside the pile.

When is the compost ready ?: Mature compost

When your compost pile reduces its volume considerably and the remains acquire a blackish brown color, it means that you already have the compost ready.

Do not forget that you have to sift or sift the mature compost from other elements that are not yet fully composted to avoid problems, microorganisms remain in the mixture etc … Once sieved, let it rest for a couple of days in a separate heap and now only you have to add it to your crops.

How can you always ask us about your compost , I recommend that you always consult manuals and more information before venturing, but be clear that it is easier than it seems.

All the best

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