Creating a compost can be a relatively cheap, easy way to make your own mulch or fertilizer. A compost helps soil to retain moisture and improves the fertility of the soil so that your plants remain healthy and able to continue to grow.
There are two places you need to keep in mind for when you begin to start collecting your items for a compost. The first is what kind of bin you will be using to collect your items for the compost and where you will keep it when you finally begin to make it. It is suggested you keep the items in a bin near your kitchen so that you can throw your usable scraps into. When you are ready to make your compost, find and area in your yard that’s location is somewhere conveniently near your garden but yet out of sight. This area must also be well ventilated, enclosed, and near a source of water so that it can be watered every so often.
It is important to know the three kinds of ingredients that the compost will need. The first would consist of what is called “green materials.” These materials include things that are high in nitrogen such as coffee grounds, fruit cores, eggshells, barnyard animal manure, grass clippings, weeds, and leaves. The next type of ingredient you need to include is “brown material” which are items that are high in carbon. Things like paper, sawdust, small branches and twigs, and straw would be ideal for this. All such items should be thrown in your bin near your kitchen to start the breakdown process for the compost. It is also vital to know the things you cannot use, such as meats, oils, dairy, diseased plants, or plants that have been previously treated with pesticides or herbicides. Finally you’ll need water to keep your materials damp, however they cannot be too wet.
Knowing the types of materials considered “green” or “brown”, you must be sure to create a compost that is one part green and two parts brown. This means that for every one shovel you have that consists of green material, you must have two shovels of brown material. Move your materials from near your kitchen to your new location by your garden.
The compost should be finished within two weeks. While the materials are breaking down during this time, you must turn the pile from the inside out once a week so that new compost can be exposed. Make sure to water it, but not too much. You will know your compost is finished when it has an earthy smell to it, it is a dark brown color, moist, and is no longer heating up.
Once your compost meets the criteria for being finished, add a shovelful of it to your garden soil. Mix, then watch your plants thrive.