Every organic gardener’s goal is to create a healthy and rich vegetable garden that is fertile in soil and has good biodiversity.
Compared to other types of garden, vegetable gardens are prone from attacks of different insects and pests, and as an organic farmer we want to eliminate or better much efficiently prevent these occurrences, and that includes having organic compost.
Types of Composting
Before you start with the piling process, it is important that you should know the difference between hot and cold composting. Cold composting is observed if you collect the dead leaves, flowers and even the organic materials found in your trash bin. The decomposing process of this type of composting may take over a year.
For the hot composting, it is a bit complicated compared to cold composting but once done, you can have a faster decomposing process. This requires four main ingredients: nitrogen, carbon, air, and water. Combined, these ingredients feed on microorganisms, therefore speed up the decay of the compost.
Vermicompost is another term for worm composting. Once they eat all the food scraps you have, they release a casting that is full of nitrogen, a nutrient that every plant needs in order to live longer. Be reminded that you can’t just grab any worm for vermicompost. You need the red worms, also known as red wigglers. You can purchase it inexpensively in your local market.
Now that you know the different types of organic compost, you are ready for the next level, knowing what and what not to compost!
What to Compost
Got fruits and vegetables that aren’t fresh anymore in your refrigerator? Composting can utilise it, not only will it benefit your garden, but you can also lessen trash in your home.
Here are some of the materials that can help you do your compiling right:
*Scraps of fruits and vegetables
*Grass and plant clippings
*Finely chopped wood and bark chips
*Sawdust from untreated wood
Shredded newspapers may also be included in this list, but not as recommended as the ones listed since newspapers won’t be able to release nutrients needed by the plants, but it can help with the decomposing process.
What NOT to compost
These are the list of items that not only will damage your compost. It can also attract insects and pests with its musty smell:
*Anything containing meat, oil, fat, or grease
*Diseased plant materials
*Sawdust or chips from pressure-treated wood
*Dog or cat feces
*Weeds that go to seed
Now that you know what you should and should not put in organic compost. Let’s start with the process
Step 1: Combine green and brown materials
Start by piling at least 3 feet of green and brown materials, making sure that these two materials are balanced if the compost is to wet, add more dry leaves, if the compost is too dry, add more green materials and water.
Step 2: Water Your Pile
Watering your pile will make it moist and help in the composting process, not too wet or else the microorganisms in your compost will die, and your compost will rot instead. Check the temperature of your compost by using a thermometer or sink your hands to check if it is warm enough to become compost.
Step 3: Stir up your pile
Stirring up your pile will help balance the moisture of the compost, stirring can also help balance the oxygen and cook faster. Doing it at least once a week whenever the sun’s up can help avoid the mattifying of the compost and keep its odour from becoming foul.
Step 4: Feed Your Garden
You’ll know your compost is ready if it feels crumbly, dry, and brown. Distributing 4 to 6 inches of the compost in your flower beds with a little bit of water is enough.
Being able to make an organic compost may be a little hard but will surely put a smile on your face and your garden.