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7 Factors Needed for a Compost Pile

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Compost, made up of decomposed grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and branches, turns into a dark, crumbly mixture of organic matter. Learn how composting works. Even a novice composer can produce good quality compost. It is often compared to cooking as art or part science. the subsequent 7 factors will assist you to master the art of composting.

1. Materials

After a while, everything that was ever alive will naturally decompose. But not all organic items need to be composted for the home. To compost, you need organic material, microorganisms, air, water, and a small amount of nitrogen. These items are safe to compost at home:

  • Grass clippings

  • Trimmings from hedges

  • Vegetable scraps

  • Leaves

  • Potting soil that has grown old

  • Twigs

  • Coffee filters with coffee grounds

  • Teabags

  • Weeds that have not gone to seed

  • Plant stalks

These items are not safe to compost at home:

  • Weeds that have gone to seed

  • Dead animals

  • Pet feces

  • Bread and grains

  • Meat

  • Grease

  • Cooking oil

  • Oily foods

  • Diseased plants

2. What to do to make it work

There are small forms of plant and animal life that break down organic matter. This life is called microorganisms. From a small amount of soil or garden manure, many microorganisms come from. Nitrogen, air, and water will provide a favorable environment for microorganisms to compost. Air and water circulation will keep the microorganisms healthy and functioning. Nitrogen feeds the tiny organisms. You may need to add a small amount of nitrogen to the pile. Putting too much nitrogen can kill microbes and too much water causes not enough air in the pile. You just can’t add too much air.

3. Beneficial microorganisms

Bacteria are the most effective compost producers in your compost pile. They are the first to decompose plant tissue. Then come the fungi and protozoa to help with the process. Arthropods, such as centipedes, beetles, millipedes, and worms, provide the finishing touches to complete the composting.

4. The smaller the better

Materials will break down faster if microorganisms have more surface to eat. Cutting your garden materials with a chipper, shredder, or lawnmower will help them break down faster.

5. Stack size

The activity of millions of microorganisms generates heat in the compost pile, but a minimum size of 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet is needed for a hot, quick composting pile. Larger piles can hinder the necessary air supply in the pile for microorganisms

6. Humidity and aeration

If you can imagine a wet-wrung sponge with its many pockets of air, then this would be the ideal environment for the microorganisms in the pile to function at their best. While your pile is composting, pay attention to how much rain or drought it may get. Water in a drought and may turn the pile over on many rainy days. The extremes of these two can upset the balance of the heap. The use of a pitchfork would be helpful at this time.

7. Temperature and time

Keep your pile between 110F and 160F and therefore the beneficial bacteria will like it. Neither too cold nor too hot.

The temperature will rise for several days if you maintain a good ratio of carbon and nitrogen, keep a lot of surface area within a large volume of material and maintain adequate humidity and aeration.

Importance of Compost:

  • Compost has nutrients, but it is not a complete fertilizer. 

  • Compost provides nutrients in the soil until plants need to use them.

  • It loosens and aerates clay soils

  • Retains water in sandy soils.

  • Using the Compost-

  • A soil amendment, mix 2 to 5 inches of compost into gardens each year before planting.

  • A potting mixture, add one part compost to two parts potting soil

  • Make your own potting mixture by using equal parts of compost and sand or perlite.

  • A mulch, podcast 2 to 4 inches of compost around annual flowers and vegetables, and up to 5 inches around your trees and shrubs.

  •  A top dressing, mix finely sifted compost with sand and sprinkle evenly over lawns.

The last thing I would suggest once you have mastered the art of composting is that you seriously consider making your own aerated compost tea. This elixir will offer you results that are hard to believe. Hire the Best Landscaping Company. You Can visit RototillerGuy to learn more information about Landscape for your home.

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