Common Composting Mistakes That You Might Be Doing
Is your compost not working? Despite your best shots, you might be making one of these common composting mistakes. Undoubtedly, composting takes advantage of nature’s recycling system to return nutrients to Earth. It is indeed the process of recycling organic materials, so they break down to become a natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer for the soil. There is a lot of information on how to make the perfect compost. However, there is a method of composting suitable for every situation. Hence, you need to find out which one is right for you and take the lead at the same time, convenient to wherever you live.
Furthermore, everyone creates organic waste in their kitchen or yard. And passing that garbage to a landfill releases carbon dioxide and methane gas that pollutes waterways. And to avoid these problems, composting creates a renewable cycle with endless benefits. The composting process can be a little experimental to get right, especially when starting. There are inevitable mistakes that can eventually trigger you to stop. However, once you know the common mistakes and learn from them, you will surely get the suitable compost you need in your yard. Composting is a fantastic way to live a more renewable life. Indeed it is simple and at the same time, it is one where you will see the benefits first-hand.
10 Common Composting Mistakes To Avoid
1. Composting inorganic materials
Whatever you recycle will transform its nutrients to be reused to feed the soil. If you recycle food scraps that are inorganic or items that have been chemically treated, your compost might poison the soil. And therefore, you end up creating more waste. So see to it to compost only organic produce materials. Also, never add animal-based materials like dairy products, greasy foods, meat, or seafood to your pile. These will cause a bad smell and will indeed attract pests.
2. Using only one bin or pile (Common Composting Mistakes)
It is best to consider having at least two piles. So while waiting for your first batch to mature, you can add new waste material to the second pile. Most likely, with a single pile, it is unattainable to store finished compost and start a new one in the same space. Indeed, containing two bins also gives you a place to store finished compost to use as needed.
3. Choosing the wrong composting method
No matter where you live and your situation, there is a composting method that is right for you. But it is crucial to think carefully about which composting way to choose from. Whether you have a large garden, a small one, or even no garden at all, it is vital to make sure you choose the suitable method or methods for your needs and for where you live.
4. Unbalanced ratio of green and brown materials
The fundamental principle when making your own compost is a balance between green and brown materials. Hence, green materials include organic matter that is still hydrated, while brown materials include dried organic matter. The rule is to combine 3 parts brown with 1 part green. If you have too much green, you might end up with a mushy, smelly mess. While too much brown will slow the decomposition.
5. Letting your compost becomes too hot
Letting your compost get too hot can actually be ineffective. Hence, it will lead to too much moisture loss and decay. At the same time, it may even kill the creatures you rely on to help in decomposition. Worms may die if the temperature within the process is too high. To ensure that the composting system is shaded in hot summer weather. You also have to think carefully about where you set it.
6. Using compost before it’s done
The best compost usually takes 6 to 12 months to produce. Composting takes patience and needs time to finish and mature. Hence, adding immature compost to your garden beds will reduce the availability of oxygen to plant roots that will compete with plant roots for available nitrogen in the soil. In this case, your plants might stop growing. So ensure to let your compost undergo its maturity period to make it an excellent soil amendment.
7. Too dry or too wet compost
When compost becomes too wet, it is likely that the mix will become less aerated and your mix begins to stink. Indeed, letting the heap get too wet will decrease the rate of decomposition. Moreover, letting your compost dries out too much, will mean a decrease in the decomposition rate. Hence, your compost relies on living organisms, and like other living organisms, they do need some water to live.
8. Not aerating (Common Composting Mistakes)
As your composting progress, the center of the pile can become oxygen-starved. It would be best to stir up the pile once or twice a week to get air to all parts. However, just ensure to have enough material mixed together. Do not overfill it or there will be no room for the compost to move around. Indeed, with more surface area, microbes can do their work much faster.
9. Adding materials that will take too long to decompose
Adding larger pieces to your compost pile will take too long to break down, so putting big chunks of materials in your pile is not a good idea. Therefore, make sure to chop it into smaller pieces to give everything a chance to decompose at the same rate. Additionally, avoid adding things to your compost heap that will not break down organically.
10 Adding hazardous materials
Don’t risk your health by including materials that could harbor pathogens harmful to human health. So take great care by ensuring all harmful household cleaning products and other environmentally harmful materials will not combine into your compost.
For example; humanure, dogs’ and cats’ feces, and some plastic packaging labeled as compostable. However, most likely, these materials can only be composted under specific conditions that can only be fulfilled at an industrial composting facility.