Composting 101: Creating compost works as rocket fuel for your garden ;
Nature is the ultimate recycler. When the compost organic matter, are really just imitating the process that occurs naturally in the forest floor: fall leaves, branches break, animals perish, and nothing is wasted. These plant and animal organisms break down slowly and eventually turn into humus a fundamental building block for the formation of a new life.
Humus (pronounced HUE-mus) is dark topsoil, a variable and complex mixture of thousands of organic compounds such as sugars, starches, fats, proteins , carbohydrates, resins, waxes, lignin and organic acids. It is very fertile, enriched with nutrients and beneficial microbes. As a soil conditioner, has the amazing ability to link existing structures and improve soil, making it less dense wet sand and clay. Resistant to erosion and drought, humus can contain 80 to 90% of its weight in moisture. It acts as a pH buffer, balancing highly alkaline or acidic soil. Naturally also deters plant diseases and pests.
Humus is truly magical things, so it is sometimes referred to as black gold . Composting at home mirrors this process and the finished compost has the same all-in-one fertilization, soil amending, and disease-fighting benefits as humus does in the natural environment. final compost a dark brown or black, it smells like earth, has a crumbly consistency, and is free of discernible particles or organic materials.
The elements of a healthy compost
To produce humus of the highest quality, four key elements are needed to create an environment balanced for the millions of micro- and macro-organisms will work to break down organic matter into finished compost. These are:
Called brown because they are dry, carbon materials supply power to the bacteria, fungi, earthworms and rotifers, which process the compost. Carbon also absorbs excess moisture and helps air circulation. Browns include dry leaves, branches and twigs, pine needles, paper products such as paper and non-glossy paper dirty napkins, cardboard, wood chips, sawdust, wood ash, and dryer lint.
call green because they are cool and moist, nitrogen provides nutrients and protein for compost, allowing microbes to grow and reproduce. nitrogen-rich materials consist of food scraps, cuts fruits and vegetables, coffee beans, grass clippings, green manure, herbs and used tea bags.
There many, many more compostable materials to have originated in and around the home. To speed things up, cut green and brown larger into smaller particles. In general, meat and fish, dairy products and cooking oils should not be added to compost, as they can cause odors and attract pests. Diseased plants, weeds have gone to seed, coal, pet waste, black walnut twigs and leaves, yard waste and chemically treated are other elements that should be kept out of the stack.
While it is important to find the right balance between the materials of carbon and nitrogen (the ideal ratio is 25-30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen), new in composting should not get too caught up in the numbers. The battery should always proportionately more brown than green, which is not too difficult to achieve as garden waste rich in carbon is more abundant than food scraps nitrogen-based. Composting involves some trial and error; look at this Bulletin troubleshooting for common problems and solutions fertilizer.
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adequate airflow accelerates decomposition and provides oxygen to the microorganisms busy at work. air circulation too dry manure while too little will cause many of the beneficial microbes to suffocate, resulting in a stinking heap. The oxygen flow can be passive, through natural convection, or active, turning the pile with a shovel or a pitchfork to aerate.
If the compost is dry, the microorganisms die, which caused the end of production of humus. Optimal levels of water to the compost pile are 40-60%; the compost should be moist to the touch, but squeezing a handful causes no more than one or two drops of water to leach. Rain and occasional watering can help keep the pile moist. If it is too wet, add more carbon materials.
4 Ways to Compost
Establishing a balance between the levels of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and moisture can seem intimidating at first, but composting is really easy! If you have a large yard or live in an apartment, have plenty of time to devote to the stack or none at all, is not a composting technique that suits your lifestyle. It is a planet friendly practice that helps keep waste out of landfills, and also the creation of a free supply of humus, you will save money on the cost of fertilizers and pesticides.
One, more versatile low maintenance, and composting methods common cold is compost. Cold composting is a relatively laissez-faire operation, but the downside is that it is very slow -. take a year or two to produce finished compost
Heap composts involve any structure or containment and pile up on the bare floor. The minimum size of the stack must be a cubic yard (3’x3’x3 ‘) in order to retain heat. Although other configurations compost require green capes and brown and pay attention to the carbon-nitrogen ratios, to some extent, composting heap is passive – just add materials as the purchase, ensuring bury the green inside the stack to prevent pests. Turning the pile will speed up the process, but manual aeration is completely optional. Once the lot is big enough, stop adding new materials to the pile and give it time to mature; You can make a second battery in the meantime.
contained compost keep things neater and less unpleasant than heaps outdoors. basic compost bin can be made easy and affordable home with a trash plastic can or shipping pallets . When you are ready to start composting, start by adding a few inches of brown material first, then alternate between green and brown. Always cover carbon materials with nitrogen to keep insects and rodents away. compost is extracted from the bottom of the tray.
To obtain results in just four to six weeks, hot compost provides an efficient and convenient way to get your hands on some humus quickly. hot compost maintain a constant temperature between 120-150⁰F, hot enough to hasten decomposition, but not so stifling that kills beneficial organisms.
To maintain good compost and warm, which should be placed in full sun in a dark container, contained to boost solar heating. Since the smaller particles decompose faster, larger materials cut into pieces no larger than two to three inches in diameter. Instead of building the stack as you go, hot compost need a minimum of materials cubic yard to start , as the heat will be trapped much more effective with a larger volume. hot compost must also be aerated every five days, making this DIY tumbling composter a practical necessity. To ensure your payment is hot, hot effect, use a thermometer to check the temperature daily.
The easiest way of all methods of composting outdoors must be trench composting. You do not need any special equipment to do it, nor do you need to worry about the proportions, aeration, moisture, or layering. trench composting happens when your kitchen waste is buried directly in the ground by digging a hole about a foot deep, put food waste inside, and cover with at least eight inches of soil. The buried organic material will take a month to a year to decompose completely. Nearby plants will benefit from nutrients placed near their roots, and as a composting system is invisible and odorless.
You can use compost ditch random empty spaces in the garden or take a more systematic approach. An example is rotation three .
The vermicompost is an excellent choice for people who live in apartments or have limited space in the yard as well as those living in colder climates and would like to have a constant supply of fertilizer throughout the year. In vermicomposting, earthworms consume and digest organic materials and their excretions produce vermicompost -. Which it is essentially worm poop
worm racks are especially rich in nutrients and more powerful than the humus made using the conventional methods of composting outdoors. And like regular humus, humus soil structure improvement, retains moisture, increases plant growth, and repelling pests.
Some vermicompost goes a long way. As a soil conditioner, always should be mixed in a ratio of 1: 4 also can be used to make some amazing tea fertilizer .
red worms ( Eiseniafetida ) are a popular choice for vermicomposting small scale, since only buried. 6 – 12 “below the surface are also ravenous – two pounds of red larvae recycle a pound of organic material in about 24 hours. they reproduce very quickly, so a good amount to start with vermicomposting is a half pound or less.
to a worm habitat, containers worm can be mounted with a pair of 10 tubes gallon plastic perforated with holes for ventilation and drainage. Fill tank ¾ to the top with bedding (shredded carbon materials including paper, cardboard, leaves , straw and dead plants) and add water. linen worm should have the consistency of a wrung-out sponge and be freely layered so the worms can breathe.
Nutra worms with food scraps and other green materials, but avoid feeding onions, garlic and spicy foods. When the addition of raw material to the tray, be sure to cover completely in bedding to avoid attracting flies and other pests to your worm farm.
red worms thrive in warm, dark and quiet environments, so a good place to keep your worm bin is under the kitchen sink, in a closet or in a heated garage.
When the red worms have eaten through most of the bedding, which should take between two and six months, it is time to harvest the castings. There several ways to accomplish this without having to start each worm compost by hand.
The method side by side, for example, makes for easy collection without interrupting the system of organic waste disposal. Simply press the final compost to one side of the box and fill the empty side with fresh bedding. For the next few weeks, add organic waste to the end with the new bedding. The worms migrate to this side, leaving aside the finished worm compost practically free. Once you have gathered the cast, fill it with more beds to start the cycle again.
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