Compost bins are readily available on the market, but you can opt not to use one, to begin with!
Forget about plastic compost bins and start using an open pile or container to promote sustainable gardening. To keep out the pests and preserve the heat, use enclosed storages instead.
Take note: don’t cover your container at the bottom – the compost should be directly touching the ground. Additionally, make sure to look for one with the right size. It should fit everything you’ll need to dispose of, but it doesn’t need to be too big either.
What’s the best place to place your container? Put in a grassy and relatively shady part of your garden.
For the base, you can pile tree branches and twigs at the bottom of the container. This technique will allow air to enter from below. Aside from aerating your pile, using branches and twigs will also help drain your compost well.
After stacking up the course materials, apply one of the major keys to successful composting — balancing out the nitrogen, carbon, water and air. This is the key to successful composting.
Nitrogen can be found in green organic materials while carbons in brown substances.
Before putting everything in the container, make sure to chop or break up any big chunks into fine particles. Then, simply alternate a layer of greens and browns on top of your base to create a successful compost heap.
If you want your compost heap to be successful, make sure to include grass clippings, leafy plants as well as hedge trimmings and twigs.
Not all food waste can be added into the mixture. For an efficient compost heap, make sure you only combine the best ingredients.
Did you know that fruits, vegetables, bread, cereal, coffee ground and peelings can all be broken down on the compost heap? This also helps lessen the amount of your waste your household produces.
Glossy magazines don’t make for good compost. However, the thin printed paper is good for the pile. Shredding it first is the best option to break them down faster.
You can put used paper towels in the compost, but only if they’ve been used to mop up food spillages. To avoid any possible contamination, it is best to put them straight in the bin, especially if they’ve been used with any type of chemical.
A pet’s hair and nail clippings can also be used in composting. In fact, a human’s hair can too! Be mindful that as long as the nails are free from nail polish, they’re good to go.
It’s also worth noting the materials you should avoid adding into the pile. Meat, dairy products, and bread should not be included in your compost heap as these foods rot and attract pests to the pile.
High-processed foods are also not an ideal addition to it because they take longer to break down – which goes the same way when they’re inside your body.
Once you’re done, you can regularly add new scraps to your compost heap. But instead of just tossing them on top, it’s recommended to bury them under the old pile.
This way, the decomposing old pile can help the new scraps to start decomposing faster.
Maintaining your compost heap is an easy task but does require a little maintenance. Simply use a spade or shovel to mix all the materials around and aerate the pile slightly.
Do it around once a week to keep all the nutrients balanced around the compost.
Once you notice the pile is getting a little dry, pour some water to moisten it a bit. During really hot days, you should consider covering your pile so that it can still retain the moisture.
After a few months, your compost should be ready to use. To make sure it’s completely broken down, it should have turned into a dark brown colour.
Take note that the bottom should also have an almost soil-like texture, and it should have an earthy smell and is warm to the touch. Then, continue composting on a regular basis and make it one of your dirt cheap gardening techniques!