Plants get their nutrients from the soil and the nutritious the soil the better they grow. It is important to keep the soil nourishing by adding nutrients. If you are into organic farming or gardening, making compost with all the organic and food waste from your kitchen is the perfect way to ensure that your plants get the nutrients they need. When added to the soil, the compost disintegrates and forms humus after a few weeks or months depending on how long it takes for the matter to decompose. Carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water all together are important for the plants to grow. When compost is properly made you will be able to provide your plants with required nutrients and avoid deficiencies.
What Can You Use?
There are quite a number of things that you can use for making your own compost. All the vegetable and fruit scraps, peels and rind from your kitchen, egg shells, bones from your meals crushed, pruned scrap, coffee, tea, grass clippings, flowers, straw, shredded newspaper and any other paper with no plastic or glossy coat or too much color, lint from your laundry and any other such organic matter without synthetic or artificial additives will do. Also make sure that these items are not diseased, have weed seeds, worm or bug infestations. Chopping and shredding all the materials will speed the decomposition considerably if you are in a hurry.
The leaves from black walnut tree are usually not recommended for compost as they contain a chemical called juglone which inhibits growth in other plants. However composting them for a few months is safe. If you have a lot of leaves you can shred them and use them on weeds and other such plants that you do not want growing in your garden.
How to Do It
The most important thing to remember while making compost is that the materials must decompose through aerobic reactions not anaerobic. Aerobic decomposition means that the compost should have access to air and oxygen, if not it triggers anaerobic decomposition resulting in the production of methane. So start by adding twigs and other hard material first so that the bottom would be aerated and helps drain any liquids. Over that add dry and wet materials alternatively so that you can prevent the wet ones from clumping together reducing air flow inside. Move and turn the compost once every few weeks to give it air with a gardening fork. Doing all this in a compost bin is also an easy way of making your compost. Remember to water it and not to get it dried up.
Composts are an excellent way to recycle wastes from your home and at the same time improve the quality of your soil. You will also be doing the environment great good by recycling the waste while enjoying the benefits of organic gardening and chemical-free fresh food.
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