Pam DeGemmis' Blog
Making your own compost for your garden is a rather straightforward process that won’t cost a lot of money but will offer you some great returns. Basically, home composting is all about turning your regular kitchen waste into a rich additive for your garden. If done the right way, you won’t have to deal with any smell or messiness through the process.
To make the composting process go smoothly, you will need to pay attention to 3 things:
- A good composting container. A container will help you hold all the decomposing material that you are going to use. It doesn't have to be extra fancy or attractive; it just needs to be able to keep all the materials together while the bacteria do their work. The kind of bin that works is one that retains both heat and moisture as they are essential to the process. You can purchase a compost bin from any gardening store near you. Remember to situate your compost container in the sun, so it gets maximum heat.
- The right mixture of ingredients. You are looking for a combination of both brown and green plant material along with some moisture so the bacteria can get to work in a conducive atmosphere. Use items like newspapers, dry leaves and wood shavings, kitchen waste and grass cuttings to start the compost. Other things that should go in your compost bin include fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, straw, and wood. Some items are not good composting materials because they cause pests to gather. Avoid things like meat, fish, and dairy products as they will attract rats and raccoons to your compost bin. Also, avoid diseased plant materials as they will transfer bacteria to the soil when used eventually. Also, avoid animal feces. Always add even layers of green and brown materials for excellent balance and an even flow of moisture.
- Composting proper. Add water to the compost pile regularly. You are aiming for the consistency of a wet sponge so be careful not to add too much water. Keep turning the compost pile with a pitchfork every two weeks to make sure the process is going on as expected. The mix should always be warm, around 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Final use. You know your compost is ready to add to your garden when it no longer gives off heat. Then you can apply about 5 inches of compost to your garden and flower pots.
Following these simple steps will help you develop your own compost for use in your garden.