Creating your own garden compost from discarded fruit, vegetable and plant matter isn’t difficult at all. In fact, making your own compost is a great way to reduce waste while also improving the soil in your garden.
It’s a simple process that requires little time and effort on your part, but produces excellent results. If you have a small garden or even just a few pots, this article will explain how you can make your own compost using things that are often thrown away.
As well as explaining the step-by-step process of how to make garden compost, we’ll also go into detail about what’s required and point you towards some other resources so you can learn more about this important subject.
What is Garden Compost?
Compost is a type of organic matter that is created when organisms such as bacteria, fungi, insects and worms break down waste material like leaves, food scraps, branches, and garden clippings.
In short, compost is a natural fertilizer and soil amendment that when added to your soil can improve drainage, increase soil fertility, and regulate soil pH. You can also use it as a natural fertilizer and growing medium for your indoor or outdoor plants. There are two main types of compost that you can create.
There’s ‘hot’ compost, which is compost that is filled with lots of nitrogen-rich materials like fresh grass clippings, kitchen scraps, and manure. Then there is ‘cold’ compost, which is compost filled with a mix of carbon-rich materials like leaves, straw, sawdust, and vegetable oil.
Why Should You Make Your Own Compost?
There are many reasons why you should make your own compost at home. First of all, it’s a great way to reduce the amount of waste you produce.
When you buy bags of compost from the store, that’s money that could be better spent elsewhere. Secondly, it will enrich the soil in your garden and promote healthy growth in your plants.
It’s also excellent for your soil because its high nutrient content can offset the loss of nutrients that occur naturally in soil over time.
The Ingredients for Making Your Own Compost
There are three basic ingredients you need to make compost – carbon, nitrogen, and water. These ingredients are mixed together in a precise ratio to create a healthy soil amendment. When making compost at home, you don’t need to be too precise with measurements, as over-thinking this aspect of the process can make it complicated and difficult.
Carbon is needed to bind together the other ingredients and create the structure in the compost heap. You can add materials like leaves, straw, newspapers, and cardboard.
This is necessary for the growth of microbes and bacteria that are essential for the decomposition process. You can add materials like green leaves, kitchen scraps, and garden clippings.
This is necessary to create steam within the compost heap. You can add materials like garden soil, shredded paper, or compost that you’ve already created.
A few other ingredients you might want to add to your compost include:
- Wood ash
- Coffee grounds
How to Make Your Own Compost?
The basic process of making compost is fairly straightforward. You’ll need to start by gathering the materials you want to use. Next, you’ll need to create a compost heap that is about 6 feet in diameter and about 3 feet deep.
After that, you’ll need to turn and water your compost regularly until it’s ready to use. You can make a compost heap in different ways. The most common ways are to either create a pile or a bin.
Making a pile is best for smaller gardens and for people who have limited access to space. Making a bin is best if you have more space or want to make compost in a more controlled environment.
Tips for Success When Making Your Own Compost
Here are some tips and tricks you can use to make your very own compost:
- The best time to start making compost is in the spring. This will give it enough time to break down and be ready for the growing season in the fall.
- The best place to make compost is in a garden bed that gets sun, but isn’t shaded.
- You can make compost in any container as long as it is at least 3 feet in diameter. Containers like wooden pallets and metal garbage cans are great options.
- You can use almost anything to make compost. Fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, wood, grass clippings, leaves, and newspapers are all great materials to use.
- Compost needs to have the correct ratio of carbon, nitrogen, and water. If it’s too wet, mix in more carbon-rich materials like leaves and newspapers. If it’s too dry, add more water and nitrogen-rich materials like fresh grass clippings.
- You can also add compost starter if you want to speed up the process. This is a packet of microbes and bacteria that helps break down organic matter.
Making your own compost is a great way to enrich your soil and reduce the amount of waste you produce. As well as being a useful soil amendment, your compost can also be used as a natural fertilizer for your plants. You can even use cinnamon for your garden to improve its health.
If you are growing a garden at home, it makes sense to make your own compost rather than buying it from a store. It’s a simple process that requires little time and effort on your part, but produces excellent results. For best results, start making compost in the spring and use it throughout the fall.