I have been making my own compost for the last couple of months, which just started off as an experiment and now have learned to make a composting bin. I found a lot of grass clippings and mixed in some odds and ends like peach pips, twigs, acorns, hay and rotted leaves. I let it lie for 3 months, keeping it damp all the time and in the second month I mixed in some rich organic pig manure with it.
I decided not to use old fruit and vegetables because I had rat problems before so I stuck to the basics. The result was out of this world. If you were to look at two of my vegetable beds, you could immediately see which bed had received extra treatment. Just by looking at the seedlings coming up at an alarming rate you will be able to tell that nutrients is one of the main factors for steady growth. It's hard to imagine just by adding things like leaves and grass the soil can make such a difference to your vegetable garden. Best of all you know what is going in there and you are the one nursing it every couple of days.
Sometimes space becomes a problem and your compost heap has to be either split up and you have to find another spot for it you could get yourself a composting bin.
Making a Compost Bin at Home
A compost bin will make your life a lot easier. It is easy to use and a lot easier to manage than a compost heap where you will constantly be having to move old piles away and replace them with new piles. Suddenly you will find there is no place left for your compost heaps.
The problems with compost bins is that they can be expensive and so making a compost bin might be an option. This might sound like an impossible task if you are not the sort of person who usually takes to DIY jobs, but it is definitely a worthwhile job to do. This will not even take you an hour to make.
All you need for your compost bin is a large plastic bin with a lid and a few holes drilled in so that air can circulate in the bin. Anything you throw on your compost heap can be thrown in the bin. Keep it moist just like your compost heap. You just need to give the bin a good shake every couple of days so that everything is mixed in. You could also learn how to make a wooden compost bin, which involves a little extra effort, but some people enjoy getting their hands dirty. There are advantages and disadvantage to both of these materials, so you will have to find what works best for you.
You can go one step further and learn how to make a worm composting bin. This is even easier. It is smaller, made of wood and gets stuck in the ground. The whole family can even get stuck and you can learn how to make a compost bin for kids. They might be interested to see the worms at work. Some kids are really fascinated by worms and love them to bits, so you could let them do the handling, should you be a little squeamish.
What Goes into a Compost Heap
Compost should be made up of brown material and green material. The green material will provide nitrogen for your compost. Manure is also rich in nitrogen. Brown material consists of dead leaves, twigs and acorns. Green matter can be in the form of grass or old flowers.
You can be fairly creative when constructing your compost heap as long as everything is natural. If it came from the soil it can go back, this time with more nutrients than before. Animal manure is also still acceptable.
You will see the difference when you mix it in. Once you have finished cutting your lawn empty your clippings onto the pile. Tree clippings and hay are also an excellent source. You can decide whether or not you want to add kitchen greens. Some fruit and vegetable peelings attracts rodents so that is why most people just stick to the basics.
Make sure your compost heap is not too close to the house because it will not be the best feature of your garden. Be careful not to make it close to any walls, pots or anything that it might stain because it will. If you want to get really organized you could build a structure around it. This is easier enough if you have a couple of pieces of wood and join them together.
Start with a layer of leaves at the bottom of the heap at about 5 cm in thickness. Add 2cm of organic garden soil and another 5cm of grass clippings or clippings from trees.
Keep on mixing with a pitch fork and keep moist, but don’t drench it with water.
After you have laid the foundation you can start to mix in kitchen ingredients if you wish. If the leaves start to smell add more soil. You should have compost within 2-3 months.
Why You Would Want to Buy Your Own Composter
A lot of people simply just buy their own composter. This is sometimes more flexible than digging everything together. It is better for a small family because most of these contractions are obviously smaller than a big compost heap. If you just need something to keep your left over vegetable and fruit peels in, then a tumbling composter would be perfect.
It is also beneficial because you can move it around, and this definitely does help should you be planning something new in your garden.
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