Compost is a natural fertilizer and can be easily created by using the household kitchen and garden waste. Below are some handy hints to create successful compost. There are compost bins that can be purchased but it not stricly necessary for composting. Creating a pile of compost in the corner of the garden is sufficient.
Items to be Used in Composting
- Food scraps from the kitchen mainly fruit and vegetable peels,
- Grass clippings and leaves from the garden,
- Weeds and other garden waste,
- Paper and cardboard, and
- Straw, hay, wood chips and sawdust.
Things that Cannot be Used for Composting
- Meat, bones or fatty food from the kitchen,
- Cooked Foods,
- Diseased plants,
- Harmful weeds,
- Chemically treated wood, and
- Human and pet waste.
Ingredients Needed for Successful Composting
The three major components required for creating efficient compost is “food”, “water” and “air”.
- Food – The two food groups that composting microbes need are “browns” from dry and dead plant materials such as autumn leaves, dry brown weeds, wood chips and saw dust. The “greens” that the microbes need come from green weeds from the garden, fruit and vegetable scraps from the kitchen, grass clippings and other garden clippings. A good mix of browns and greens is the best nutritional balance for the microbes that live in the compost.
- Water – The compost pile should be moist but not overly wet. When adding dry components such as straw or dry leaves they should be they should be moistened to create a good composting habitat for the microbes. Grass clippings, kitchen fruit and vegetable waste already have moisture. However, in dry weather the compost pile may need to be watered to keep the moisture level up.
- Air – It is important to ensure that the compost pile is aerated. If very wet the soaked ingredients will be heavy and they will mat down which will in turn stop air filtering through the pile. It may therefore be necessary to add straw or other dry ingredient and turn the compost pile. If the compost pile is allowed to get too wet and it mats down and air cannot circulate, the green ingredients will start to rot and will emanate a rotten garbage smell.
With the proper ingredients of kitchen and garden waste and the availability of the components of food, water and air for the composting microbes, the compost pile will in time smell of rich soil. This can then be added to an indoor garden or an outdoor flower or vegetable garden to produce stunning blooms or succulent fruit and vegetables.