If you take great interest in gardening, you would also know that compost gardening is the best thing for the environment. It is both cost-effective and greatly helpful in ensuring the healthy growth of fruits, vegetables and flowering plants. Composting implies the decomposing of plant remains, organic matter and other waste.
After the decomposition, a crumbly substance is produced, which can serve as a great addition to the garden soil or even potted plants. Composting helps in the healthy growth of plants and also keeps the waste from being sent to landfills. If you already do composting, you would reap the benefits very soon. But if you are new to the idea and are not much aware of the compost gardening, here are a few tips that will help you get started with compost gardening.
- The first most important thing is to have a good compost heap or a compost pile that have a good balance of browns and greens. Keep in mind that there are certain things that you cannot add to a compost bin or a pile. Composting is not about throwing waste matters onto a pile. One has to be careful as to what to add to it and what things to avoid while making compost.
- Compost piles basically include organic waste matter such as vegetables and fruit peels, eggshells, tea bags, grass, hay straw, leaves, weeds, woodchips and coffee grounds. Plant materials from the garden and food scraps from the kitchen will make for good compost pile.
- Adding cow and horse manure will also make the soil fertile. Do remember not to put excess of one thing in the pile as to maintain a good pH soil level. Addition of earthworms or shredded cardboard boxes will also be effective for your compost. Besides, the use of accelerators and artificial additives such as nitrogen fertilizer and starters to the pile can also be good.
- Although all organic matter can be broken down naturally, there are certain things that cannot be added to the pile. Wood and sawdust that comes from chemically treated products, human or pet excrement greasy foods, dairy products and meat scraps should best be avoided when doing compost gardening as they do more harm than good to the soil.
- Pernicious weeds and diseased plants should not be added to compost piles.
- If you are adding twigs, clippings, and vegetation, chop them and mix them well with other organic matter. Ensure that the pile remain dry and do cover it up when it rains. If the compost pile starts to emit a bad smell, add some lime to reduce the smell. Use fireplace ashes or also put some dolomite on the compost piles to neutralize the odor if it smells like ammonia.
- Do water the compost well to prevent ants from coming near it as ants settle more on dry compost heaps.
- Check that the compost do not get too dry or wet. If it is too dry, fungal spores may form and if it is too wet, add some material such as grass clippings.
Once the compost is dark and crumbly, add it to your garden to make it more fertile and beautiful.