How To Make An Organic Compost?
The ingredients in truly organic compost should be free of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, and other non-organic compounds. Moreover, grass clippings are a popular ingredient in many compost recipes. However, wanting to have organic compost, go for untreated grass clippings. Like spent annual flowers and vegetables, garden waste is a good source of green material for your compost pile. If you need to use it as a component in your organic compost, you need to use annual garden waste that has not been treated with synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
Thus, this manure and animal products can be excellent nutrients, especially nitrogen, like blood or bone meal. Indeed bagged manure that is qualified as organic can be tricky sometimes to find it locally. Your next option is to find a local organic farm and work out an arrangement if they don’t typically sell manure. At the same time, manure from an organic farm is generally free of pesticides or medications.
Also, you can use plant meals from crops such as; alfalfa, canola, cotton, or soy, which replace animal products, especially if you are conscious of animal rights. At the same time, if you live near high-production areas, you may use plant meals for convenience. And whatever your reason, if your goal is an organic compost, your plant meals should come from crops grown without synthetic chemical inputs.
No To Synthetic Chemicals
Indeed synthetic chemical products have no place in an organic compost pile. At the same time, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other such products can be detrimental to the goals of traditional composting. Furthermore, insecticides will harm the beneficial organisms in a pile and should be avoided. Moreover, herbicides, also known as “weedkillers,” may remain tied to the organic matter in the finished compost for some time. And might have a bad effect on plants grown in that product.
Organic Compost Tips
1. Starting a compost pile on the basic (Bare Earth) allows worms and other helpful organisms to aerate the compost and shift it to your garden beds.
2. Lay twigs or straw first: Thus, laying twigs and straw a few inches deep helps aid drainage and helps aerate your pile.
3. Adding compost materials in layers: You need to alternate moist and dry when layering your compost materials. If you have wood ashes, sprinkle them in thin layers, or they will clump together and be slow to break down.
a. Wet ingredients are;
- food scraps
- tea bags
b. Dry materials are;
- sawdust pellets
- wood ashes.
4. Adding manure: When you add green manure or any other nitrogen sources, this activates the compost pile and speeds the process along.
Examples of green manure:
- grass clippings
5. Keeping your compost moist: To maintain a healthy compost pile, you must maintain the proper moisture level. Water gradually, or let the rain do the work. Inadequate water will inhibit the activities of composting organisms, resulting in a slower composting process.
6. Cover your compost with anything available: You can use carpet scraps, plastic sheeting, or wood. Covering helps maintain moisture and heat, which are the two essentials for compost. Moreover, covering also prevents the compost from being too wet caused by rain. The idea is to maintain the moist but not soaked and sodden.
7. Give your pile a quick turn every week: You can use a pitchfork or shovel when turning your pile. Undoubtedly this aerates the pile too. So that more air may circulate through. Oxygen is needed for the process to work, and turning adds oxygen. You can skip this procedure if you have a ready coarse material such as straw. Once you have set your compost pile, add new materials by mixing them rather than layering them. Turning your compost pile is necessary to aerate the composting materials and completes the process. You may consider purchasing a compost tumbler which makes it easy to mix the compost regularly.
Things To Consider In Composting
- Choose a faraway site for your compost pile, not too close to a creek or stream.
- Moreover, you can also make a corral for your pile out of wooden palettes, chicken wire, or any other materials by choice. This will help you keep your pile safe from hungry animals.
- Seaweed can also help activate your pile. Spraying treatments or adding actual seaweeds are means to contain it into your compost.
- Be sure to include both whole and shredded materials in your pile for the promotion of aeration for the critters.
- Turning can happen every couple of days to every several weeks, depending on your schedule. Know that the more you turn, the faster you’re encouraging the decomposition process to happen.
- Indeed your compost is done when all materials are uniformly dark and crumbly, and it smells earthy and fresh.
- Spread your compost using a pitchfork or rake or your hands! Even if you don’t have much, a dime’s thickness over top of the garden bed does wonders for your soil and your plants.
- Vermicompost or worm compost is worm castings, and it is fantastic for your garden! Vermicompost is teeming with soil critters and is packed with essential nutrients that plants love. You can create your worm compost very easily.
Some Benefits Of Organic Composting
- Compost makes any soil easier to work.
- It reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
- Increases microbial activity
- Enhances plant disease suppression
- Increases soil fertility
- Increases cation exchange capacity
- Improves soil structure in clayey soils
- Improves water retention in sandy soils
- Reduces bioavailability of heavy metals
- Compost also alters soil structure, making it less likely to erode.
- Prevents soil from spattering on plants—spreading disease.
- Enhances soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests.
- Encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.
- Compost can hold nutrients tight enough to avoid them from washing out but loosely enough so plants can take them up as needed.
Soil Fertility Towards Organic Compost
To sum it up, consider compost more of a soil conditioner than a fertilizer substitute. Since it improves plant productivity primarily by improving physical and biological soil properties and increasing soil organic matter, rather than directly supplying significant amounts of plant-available nutrients. Compost applications will increase soil fertility by increasing soil organic matter content, fueling microbial activity, and nutrient cycling. Over subsequent growing seasons, the nitrogen applied in compost will become plant-available.