Compost is one vital element in creating fertile soil and improving its structure and friability. Contrary to what others think, this is not a tedious task. You will only guide the natural process if decomposing organic wastes such as kitchen and garden scraps. While the process is simple, it requires sufficient organic materials.
How to Do It
First, know that there are two types of composting: the hot and cold. In hot composting, you get compost in 1-3 months when the weather is warm. This method is ideal for serious gardeners while cold compost is simply collecting organic wastes such as dry leaves, garden clippings or shredded papers and gathering them in a bin or pit.
- You should have at least 3-feet deep pile of materials. Experts suggest that we create 4-8 inch thick layers of alternating brown materials (coffee grounds and filters, bark chips, straw and shredded paper) and green materials (fresh and dried leaves, eggshells, plant clippings and kitchen scraps) to have an even composition.
- Next, cover it with soil, nitrogen-based materials then another layer of soil. Repeat the process until the pile is 2-3 feet high.
- Make sure that the pile has the consistency that of a damp sponge by watering it regularly. However, don’t overdo it otherwise, the microorganisms will drown and rot the pile instead of composting it.
- Do not add dairy products, meat, and animal manures. If the pile emits a foul odor, flip the compost to provide more oxygen to it.
- Oxygen is another vital element in decomposition thus, turn the pile once a week using a garden fork to allow it to “breathe.” You can also check if the pile is decomposing through its temperature. Hot compost can reach 49-77 degrees Celsius temp. It is also the best time to stir up the pile as it helps in cooking it faster. It will also prevent the pile from developing a bad odor.
- With enough moisture and time, the pile will decompose and will dry, turn brown and crumbly.
We suggest you build your compost bin to help contain your pile. You can create a simple square or round structure using a fencing wire. Make sure it is 3-feet wide and 3-feet deep to allow the materials to heat up properly. For the corners, you can use untreated metal or wood posts and wrap the wire fence around.
Since we are after decomposing organic materials, just use basic containers that can hold all the ingredients together. The key here is well-ventilated. Your compost bin should be able to retain heat and moisture for efficient results.
Make sure to place the pile where it can get as much heat as possible. Putting it in shady places will slow down the process. In cold compost, you will use the same ingredients. However, it will take a year and more since it is passive composting.
While composting will not guarantee your fortune, it is the most efficient process that will help you achieve healthy, productive soil and bountiful harvest. Surely, it is so worth the effort and time.