Compost 101: The Essentiality Of Compost Rules
Garden experts consider composting as a form of art. They even compared it to cooking, considering how many wonderful mixing processes there are in composting. You can also be creative and versatile in making your own composts pile as long as you keep in mind the essential compost rules to follow. One must take into consideration the things that might affect the outcome of the composting procedure.
Composting is a process of turning most organic waste into soil nutrients. Such action has a variety of beneficial impacts on our environment. Composting also does the “dirty work” in your garden. It includes manure and much more unpleasant wastes that will make your hands smelly and filthy. However, a well knowledgable and garden enthusiastic person will delight in admiring the dirt under their fingernails.
That may sound a little strange, but it is actually true. They view every piece of dirt under their fingernails as evidence of their laborious efforts and as a symbol of their harmonious relationship with nature. If you’re more of a neat freak and don’t like the idea of dirty work, then composting is not for you.
What is a Compost?
Compost is generated when organic matter breaks down in the soil with the aid of beneficial microbes like bacteria and other microbial species. It is a nutrient-rich substance that resembles fertilizer effectiveness that can be used to improve soil and foster growth. Upon compost development, the main substances mixed within the compost pile are divided into 2 categories; brown and green materials.
Compost Rules: The Browns and Greens
Compost develops through having both Carbon and Nitrogen source materials. Gardeners simply call these 2 green and brown materials.
Brown or Carbon Source Materials
Any dried plant material that is brown, such as fallen leaves, grass, wood goods, cardboard, and straw, is referred to as a brown or carbon source material. However, not every brown material you see is applicable to be used in composting. Organic material that is high in carbon is referred to as “brown”. Brown generally refers to any dried, woody, and hard organic debris. Carbon-rich materials take time to decay. Yet unlike other commercial products, brown materials are mostly free and have less odor.
Although they decay slowly, browns, which are often hard and dense, tend to preserve their structure for a longer period of time. Brown composts materials make the compost well-textured and have lots of air pockets. By doing this, you can improve airflow and give bacteria access to the oxygen they need. A great illustration of carbon is a leaf that has fallen from trees. Before their leaves drop to the ground in the fall, most trees absorb the remaining nutrients from the leaves to prepare for a less sunlight season. Carbon source materials also add a medium level of structure to the compost mix despite having low moisture content, high levels of carbon, and minerals. Since leaves are softer than branches, they are most likely to clump as one when wet and provide fewer air sockets.
Green or Nitrogen Source Materials
Green compost ingredients contain significantly more nitrogen than brown materials do. Nitrogen is a crucial component of amino acids and proteins and is a crucial source of protein for the compost bacteria, which helps to hasten the decomposition process. Grass cuttings contain lots of nitrogen. While that might sound like a positive inclusion, there are a few other factors to take into account. In order to allow grass clippings to organically decompose and enrich the soil with nutrients, it is often preferable to leave them on the lawn far from your garden’s growing plants. If you do decide to include grass clippings in your compost; start out by putting only a very thin layer on top of a layer of carbon-source materials or by completely blending them with other green materials. This has a tendency to develop slimy mats or clumps when applied too heavily, which prevents airflow.
Green compost materials are also simply organic versions of commercial compost accelerators. Aside from being organic, their only essential difference is that green compost materials are free. Instead of wasting your money on processed commercial products, why not settle for something you can simply get in your own home?
Compost Rules And Regulations
Rules and laws apply to all living organisms. Animals it may, or us humans, have the right to stand only within the rules the world has established. That goes the same with composting. It is an art, yet not an abstract one. It goes through numerous processes but only has one preferred conclusion. We compost because we want to enrich the soil with nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. Although creativity in the process is wonderful, just keep in mind that everything has a limit.
- Rule #1: Proper Location
A dry, shaded environment is the best for composting. Avoid placing your compost pile beneath roofs or in locations with poor drainage if you live in a rainy area since the compost can become overly wet. Find a shady spot if you live in a sunny area. Also, if you’re using manures as your main source of carbon, consider a place far from neighbors to avoid any complaints.
- Rule #2: Enough Moisture
Composting requires moisture, so your pile should always have the consistency of enough water. A pile that is too damp may result in an anaerobic environment. This slows down decomposition and produces unpleasant odors.
- Rule #3: Let Microbes Do Their Job!
Your compost pile’s bacteria require a balanced diet of nitrogen and carbon to decompose it. Green substances like food leftovers, manure, and grass clippings are sources of nitrogen. Brown substances like dried leaves, hay, wood chips, and shredded newspaper are sources of carbon.
- Rule #4: Watch For the Soils Acidic Level!
Only with pH levels between 5.5 and 8, neutral to acidic conditions are ideal for your compost. Keep in mind that too much nitrogen will increase the acidic level of your compost soil.