Compost: The Healthy Dirt for your Garden

Compost is the inexpensive way to fertilize your vegetable or flower garden. Many beginners in gardening prefer the use of pesticides and chemicals because they are instant and the speed up the growth of the plants. However, one should really avoid these products not only they are harmful but also pricey.

Compost is your environmentally friendly way to feed your lawn and your plants. You can benefit from compost in two ways: (1) prevention of harmful chemicals to get into the environment and (2) it is natural form of recycling that minimizes the amount of waste you throw out.

So you have to build or buy your bin and put the materials one by one in order. Beneficial fungi, insects and micro-organisms will turn these decomposing materials into nutrient-rich compost that your garden and environment will truly enjoy once you apply them on the soil. The fresh smell of the Earth soil is definitely relaxing and with the help of compost, you will not only enjoy this but you also prevent the excessive production of carbon that causes the greenhouse effect.

Published books, online blogs and websites don’t get into details about composting but one thing is for sure the waste you are throwing away can still be converted to an organic fertilizer for the garden. If not done right, it can invite rats and other rodents in your garden.

There are a few tips you should be reminded about for a good start:

  • A large container is preferable in composting. You can easily add materials to your pile which is still not decomposing.
  • Remember, your pile should be exposed to sunlight. However, if it’s in an area with partial shade, then it would be okay but decomposing is slower than the one exposed to sun.
  • Make sure to add moisture in you bin. You can have a rain barrel or find a way that your bin gets water naturally.  The chlorine in the water system will slow down the process. Make sure to keep the compost moist, not drowned.
  • If you find a worm in your garden, add them to your bin for fast break down of the materials. You can also use the worms used for fishing.
  • Keep a pile of leaves in hand. When you place new materials in the pile, you should cover them up with leaves to keep the smell down and flies away.
  • Keep them aerated.  You can turn your bin every other day or use a shovel or pork to turn the pile.
  • Make a list of things that are biodegradable and non-biodegradable. This is to remind you of things that decompose and not.

Mixing compost to soil is very essential to feed it the necessary nutrients especially if the soil is depleted from using it again and again for the same crop. Treating them with compost can make them healthier and fertile again.

For farmers, they make use of straw and manure as their organic fertilizer. Since gardeners do not have these resources, they make their own version of the compost to achieve a healthy garden.

Nitrogen and Carbon Ratio

The straw and manure compost of farmers is the perfect example of nitrogen and carbon radio. This ratio should be 25-30:1 which means for every 25-30 parts of carbon, you need to have one part of nitrogen.

Materials in the garden which are rich in nitrogen are woods and the carbon is from grass cuttings or other green matter. So make sure to put more leaves in the pile than the woods.

How important is this ratio? The carbon serves as the food for the organisms beneath the soil while nitrogen is like a protein which is necessary for their growth.

When your soil do not have this ratio, then you are most likely you plants grow slow or unhealthy. Sufficient amount of nitrogen and carbon will lead to abundant number of microorganisms beneficial to the fertility of the soil.

Compost is a very important practice in gardening. It does not only make the soil healthy but provides nutrients for your plants. This will definitely make you save money, knowledgeable about plants and clean up your garden. Make sure to get your compost ready every time the season changes so you tend your soil to make it adaptable as the temperate drop or rise as the new season arrives.

Compost is your healthiest, safest and cheapest way of fertilizing your garden to produce fresh and healthy fruits and flowers. Remember, the health of your soil is being reflected on the growth of your plants so make sure to include compost.

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