Composting is a great way to nourish plants.
If you take care of the soil by adding humus rich material, you will start these beneficial processes:
- breaking down organic matter
- creation of humus
- release of food and nutrients when your plants are ready to feed
- the absorption of minerals and nutrients
- water retention while providing good drainage
- improved soil structure (allowing air and water in just the right proportions).
- healthy plants that are more resistant to pests and protected against disease
There are many tumblers and mixers on the market, or you can make your own. Basically a container (plastic barrel or a 55 gallon drum) will work just fine.
Leaves provide carbon and green things provide nitrogen. When you combine these ingredients you should use two parts brown and one part green.
Also include an inch of soil on top of the two layers mentioned above and keep alternating.
If you don’t have enough green you can add manure, available at the garden center or maybe your local farmer.
Kitchen scraps including coffee grounds and filter, tea bags, egg shells, fruits and vegetables, are all excellent additions. No meat or fish and no pet waist should be composted.
Add enough water to make everything moist but not soaking wet. In a couple of day’s time you will notice the mixture will have started heating up. You can turn the mixture at this point, bringing the middle to the outside, and the outside to the middle. You should do this every three days or so.
When the mixture is finished processing it will have a pleasant smell, be dark brown and crumbly in nature. It can take as little as three weeks to form if you have the right proportions and you carry out the process of turning regularly.
An alternative method is to build a couple of bins for larger quantities. Use the same layering method and turn it every 4 or 5 days. The mixture must heat up to approximately 160 degrees or it won’t decompose and you won’t get your lovely compost.
Worm-Composting! This is well worth the effort; it is really easy once you get it going, so why not set up a wormery.
You’ll have wonderful humus rich soil and healthy plants… without feeding them any chemicals. An additional benefit is that during dry spells you won’t have to water the garden as often. You’ll get these benefits all because you decided to improve the structure of your soil with home made organic materials.