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How to make your own compost

by emily

in DIY, Eco-Living, How to, Lifestyle, Outdoor Living, Variety

The first thing you might think about when making your own compost might be that it’s really messy and that it smells awful, and you may not even know where to even start. But, making your own compost has a plethora of benefits for your plants and flower garden. Not only are you recycling your own waste, but you’re also reducing the amount of waste that lands up in landfills.

It’s Autumn – the perfect season to make your own compost because there is an overflowing amount of falling leaves. The good thing is that making your own compost will cost you nothing. You may choose to buy ready-made compost but why not make your own? On average, a usual household produces waste that can be used to grow food for your garden. Below are a few steps on how to make your compost we think everyone should know.

Your starting point

To make your own compost you will need organic material. Organic waste includes a combination of garden waste and household food waste. Garden waste includes grass clippings, dried leaves, plant prunings, and added worms (if you have some wiggling going on in your garden).

Household waste is a combination of teabags, egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable peels, newspaper shavings, and wood chips. The odd combination of the green matter and the kitchen waste creates a good bacteria that develops it into compost. So, compost is basically a concoction that helps your plants grow.

Making the compost

There are two ways to make compost. You will either use a compost bin or make a heap in a corner of your garden. Whichever one you choose, mixing the ingredients is what you’ll need to master.

Mixing the ingredients is probably the easiest part. If you plan to use a compost bin you will have to mix the organic material and the household waste into the bin and mix it together. It might have a bit of a smell but that is expected when you mix two differently textured materials.

If you are looking into just making a heap of compost, mix the ingredients together in a corner of your garden. It is important to note that the ingredients have to be balanced in order for it to work. An imbalanced amount of organic waste from the household will throw the entire composting process off.

Be sure to add enough green matter and household waste. For example, if your compost seems a bit too dry, add water and more green matter, and if it is too wet add a bit more brown matter.

Watering the compost

Simply mixing the ingredients together won’t yield good results. After you have mixed the ingredients, remember to water your compost. Avoid watering the compost mixture too much that will make it too damp. The correct consistency of the compost should be that of a damp cloth. Watering compost too much will cause it to rot instead of composting which will leave it with a smell.

Finding the right spot

After you have mixed the materials together and have watered your mixture, it is now time to find the best spot to put your compost bin. You want to place your compost bin in a spot that will get the most sunlight.

In order for the compost to create those good bacteria, it needs heat. Your compost should always be warm otherwise it will not decay. So, monitoring the temperature of the compost when maintaining is advised. Be sure to not place your compost in an area where water will stand, it will become too moist and will cause an odour that will attract animals.

What not to add to the compost

As much as there are many things you can put into your compost. There is certain waste that should not be added to your compost;

  • Meats and fatty substances
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Dairy produce
  • Animal faeces or animal products

Some of these materials might cause your compost to smell in a way that attracts animals and pets and they might not even work well for your gardening.

Things to remember

Compost needs to be constantly tended too, and luckily maintaining it is quite easy. Be sure to regularly sprinkle water when the compost seems a bit dry. Also, use a pitchfork to turn the compost at least twice a month to induce fresh air into the compost.

When your compost is ready, it will be dry and crumbly. This means that it has finished cooking. Now you are ready to feed your garden with compost that is nutrient rich and which significantly improves the soil allowing your plants to be lush and healthy.

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