Today I want to write about one very important thing for all gardeners. In fact the normal gardener will not plant home garden seeds without using it first. I am sure you all have it somewhere in your garden. It’s called compost pile.
To make a good compost for planting your home garden seeds or seedlings, you need organic material plus microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc.) and other small creatures that will break down that material.
In order to get the best compost the most quickly, you’ll have to keep the microbes happy. The three elements for making them happy are: the right amount of moisture, enough oxygen, and the right types of food.
Let’s talk about the food first.
A lot of people add special chemicals but there is a much better way to have a great harvest. It is cost effective (actually it won’t cost you anything!), healthier and easy. The secret is – nature around you. Yes, the nature and nowadays mass production gives a lot for your compost heap.
To survive, the bacterias in your compost pile need carbon and nitrogen.
Carbon is supplied by “brown” ingredients such as leaves leaves and spent plants (anything that used to be growing as a plant in any shape or form except weeds). They are great for making a compost and you can use it for you flower beds in spring.
Nitrogen comes from “green” ingredients such as grass clippings and kitchen waste. If you cook at home, you can add, mandarins, bananas, apples or other fruits and vegetables. Used coffee and tea (even in a tea bag) can be added as well. You can also add egg shells. They contain a lot of Calcium and are very good for the soil.
The suggested ratio of browns to greens in your compost bin is 25 to 1 – basically, you need 25 times more browns than greens.
If you’ve got a farm or live somewhere near by you can use horse and chicken manure. If you’ll use horse
manure, leave it for a year or so as a fresh manure can be too hot and burn the plants.
Keep you compost pile damp.
Your compost bin has to be damp, but not too wet. It must be about as wet as a moist sponge. If you haven’t got a rain for too long, you’ll need to add some water to your compost pile. If there’s too much rain, you’ll need to add some organic material to reduce the wetness.
Oxygen in your compost pile
The bacterias also need oxygen in order to survive. So you should turn your compost pile from time to time or use a compost aerator (a stick that youinto the pile to make a holes for the air to enter). If you’re using a compost tumbler, then you’ll just need to turn the tumbler itself.
You should turn the compost pile and aerate it at least every 3 to 5 days. Turning the compost frequently will ruin the decomposing process.
The things you should not add in the compost pile:
Don’t add anything of animal nature. Meat, cheese etc.
Excrements from domestic animals. They can carry bacteria that isn’t good for us.
Old veggie plants that may have shown any sign of disease.
Some useful advices:
Keep in mind that the leaves from some of the trees can change the acidity of the soil. So it is better to add lime to neutralize after you’ve added the compost to your garden.
Do not burn your leaves. It is polluting the nature and can be a disaster for anyone nearby who has breathing problems. In nature, these leaves would be on the ground and degrading, anyway. It is better either to compost the leaves or have your municipality to collect them.
Ok, now you are fully aware of benefits the nature gives you and can plant your home garden seeds. Good luck and have a great harvest!
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