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Making Compost for Gardening

By Edited Mar 17, 2016 0 0

How to Make a Compost Pile

DIY Compost

Everyone on the planet contributes 5 to 7 pounds of rubbish to our earth each day. It is a great idea to put these waste materials back into the earth for recycling.

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Humus is the backbone of any soil. The sponge-like material gained from organic (plant and animal life) sources, like leaves, leafy garbage, coffee grounds, lawn clippings, sawdust, evergreen needles, and several others. These materials must be placed on the compost pile, which is similar to putting money in the bank.

Starting a Compost Pile

When these materials become available, pile them in a spot away from your house, ideally screened off by plants. Make a bin out of cement blocks laid end to end  to hold your compost. Some make use of snow fence to produce a circular enclosure for a compost pile. This aids in concealing the pile, and makes for good air circulation, inducing decomposition.

When adding materials, make sure that the center is depressed to catch rainwater. Occasionally, add a layer of balanced fertilizer, 1 pound over a 6-inch layer if your compost is 10 feet long and 5 feet wide. You may also use liquid plant food and follow directions. This beefs up the compost and accelerates decay. A reasonable sprinkling of lime from now and then is helpful; it brings in nutrients to plants when the compost is put to use.

Among the best materials for the compost are leaves. A ton would be the same as 2 bags of balanced fertilizer in plant nutrients alone. Those with sandy or clay soils must save all the leaves they can rake up, since leafmold has a marvelous ability to keep moisture. Subsoil can only hold 20 percent of its weight, a good topsoil holds 60 percent, but leafmold is the champion of them all, it can retain 300 to 500 percent of its weight in water. Richer in nutrients are present in leafmold from non-evergreens than those from conifers.  Don't believe the story that leaves are too acidic to be helpful to crops. All leaves are good property, even Oak leaves, which are more acid and recommended for azaleas, rhododendrons, laurel, holly, and other acid-loving plants, may still be utilized for non-acid plants.

Stirring Your Compost

Stirring hastens the decay and helps in destroying insect pests, but it is not all important. A good thing to do is to cover the compost pile using polyethylene plastic. Make your compost in the usual manner, alternate putting in leaves, clippings, sawdust, soil, table scraps, and other materials with a sprinkling of lime and fertilizer. Next, water down the pile completely and spread a sheet of black polyethylene over. The piece must be large enough to give around 18 to 20 inches of flap on all sides. Now, cover the flaps with soil, completely sealing the pile and leave it alone for eight months. Using the plastic cleverly hides the pile, and makes it break down quicker. The plastic traps heat inside and preventing loss of moisture. There is no know material yet that can convert raw organic matter into humus overnight.

 


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Bibliography

  1. Stu Campbell and Kathleen Bond Borie Let it rot!: the gardener's guide to composting. Pownal, Vt.: Storey Pub., 1990.
  2. Deborah L. Martin and Grace Gershuny The Rodale book of composting.: easy methods for every gardener.. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press, 1992.

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