Keeping A Compost Heap Is Easy
Building and maintaining a compost heap is not hard work once you know the factors that one should consider.
The first thing to consider when making a compost pile are the materials involved. Undoubtedly everything that was once living will naturally decay. Nevertheless, only some organic items ought to be composted for the home. To prepare compost, natural and organic material, microorganisms, air, water, in addition to a small amount of nitrogen are needed.
To get started, it is a good idea to know which materials are considered safe for your compost heap and which ones are not.
Among the materials that are safe are:
* lawn clippings
* trimmings from hedges
* vegetable wastes
* potting soil that has grown old
* coffee filters with coffee grounds
* tea bags
* weeds that have not gone to seed
* plant stalks
Items that are not safe for a home compost heap include:
* weeds that have went to seed
* dead animals
* pet feces
* bread and grains
* cooking oil
* oily food items
* diseased plants
The second thing you should know about your own compost heap is the know how on making it work for you. There are some small varieties of flora and animal life which break up the organic materials called microorganisms. A good amount of these microorganisms exhist in very small amounts of soil and manure. A favorable environment for these organisms include air, nitrogen and water which in turn makes the compost. The circulation of the air and water will keep the microorganisms working and healthy while the nitrogen provides the food. You may have to ass nitrogen to your compost, but be sure it is a small amount. Too much nitrogen can kill the microbes while too much water can cause too little air.
Make sure that that the microorganisms are beneficial to your pile. The most effective makers to your compost pile are bacteria. Bacteria are the most effective compost makers in your compost pile. They are the very first to break down plant tissue. After that comes along the fungi and protozoans to give assistance with the process. The arthropodes, similar to centipedes, beetles, millipedes and worms, generate the finishing touches to finish the composting.
Remember that the smaller the heap is, the better. The materials are going to break down faster if the microbes have more working surface to consume. Cutting up your garden materials with a chipper, shredder, or even lawnmower can help them decay quicker. For a hot and fast composting pile, it is recommended that the pile should be the size of 3-foot by 3-foot by 3-foot. Anything larger may hamper the needed air supply.
Be sure to consider the moisuture and aeration of the compost pile. The ideal environment for the microorganisms is that which is similar to a wet squeezed out spongue with it’s many air pockets. It is important that you pay attention while your heap is composting. Also pay attention to the quantity of rainfall or even a drought you might have. Water the heap in a drought as well as maybe turn the pile when you have plenty of rainy days. The extremes of these two might upset the balance of the pile. The use of a pitchfork will come in handy at this time.
Be aware of the time and temprature. The beneficial bacteria will thrive in a heap that is between 110F and 160F and not too cool or hot. The temperature will probably rise over a few days should you keep a good ratio of carbon and nitrogen, manage a lot of surface area within a large volume of material, and sustain sufficient moisture and aeration.
Always remember these important things about compost:
* That it is not a complete fertilizer even though it carries a lot of nutrients.
* It provides nutrients in the soil until plants need to use them.
* It loosens and even aerates clay-based areas
* Keeps water in sandy soils.?
Use your compost as:
* A soil amendment, combine 2 to 5 inches of garden compost into gardens each year before planting.
* A potting mixture, add one portion garden compost to two parts potting soil.
* Make your own potting mixture by utilizing equivalent components of compost and sand or even perlite.
* A mulch, prodcast 2 to 4 inches of compost around annual flowers and vegetables, and up to 5 inches around your trees and shrubs.
* A top dressing, mix finely sifted compost with sand and sprinkle evenly over lawns.