Get Great Results From A Compost Garden

Why would you want to start a compost garden? There are many good reasons. We'll cover a few of them here today, plus some tips for making compost properly. First of all, let's define compost. It's merely a mixture of various types of partially decomposed organic waste material, which is used to fertilize plants and improve garden soil. Good garden soil has a loose texture and good drainage capability. Adding compost to soil helps to achieve both these benefits. Your garden could have clay soil, or it could have sandy soil. Regardless, compost will improve its performance.

Compost also contains vital nutrients that benefit plants, and it will release those nutrients over an extended period of time, so that the plant is not overwhelmed when the compost is intially applied. And making compost allows all the materials that were used to be kept out of landfills, which is good for the environment.

What materials can be used? Vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, eggshells, tea bags, egg cartons and some other kinds of cardboard, straw, leaves, grass clippings, dead flowers, chicken and pigeon droppings, and more. However, it's probably more important to note that there are some types of organic matter that should never be added to the compost pile. They are dog, cat and human manure, dairy products, eggs, grease, meat and bones. These either could create a human health hazard in the compost, or will attract pests to the compost pile.

If you have the space, you can just start the compost pile right on the ground. Don't put it in a shady, damp place, however. You can just add materials when you have them and let nature take care of the process. This will take a while longer than the 'active' method, and result in the bottom of the pile having the finished compost while the newer materials sit on top. To make an active compost pile, you will be turning the contents with a shovel or pitchfork on a regular basis. This will speed up the decomposition process and make the contents more uniform.

It's usually easier, and certainly neater, to enclose the compost pile in some sort of bin, box, can, or other sort of structure. People have used old garbage cans with holes drilled in them, and old wooden shipping pallets can also make a cheap and functional compost bin. If you wish to have active compost, then you might consider some sort of a tumbler or rotating bin design. In these, the materials are added through a door in the bin, which is then shut so the tumbler can be rotated a few times, making the turning process much easier. The drum can be turned on a regular basis, not just when new ingredients are added.

There's a lot more to learn about composting. Unfortunately, we don't have space in this short article to cover all the ins and outs. If it sounds like a win-win situation, then pick up one of the many books that are available on the subject, or do some internet research, and you'll soon be adding some of that dark brown earthy smelling stuff to your garden. Your plants will love you for it!

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