Compost is the process of decaying organic matter from the waste which is rich in nutrients and using it to improve the soil quality. Compost is a black gold because of its various benefits to soil, plant, and the environment. Composting is very easy, simple, and rewarding and a great way to turn organic scrap into a useful nutrient for plants. The best part is that composting can be easily done at home, even in very small places.
We will give you a step-by-step guide that covers all about compost and the process to make compost.
What is Compost?
Compost is the final result of composting. It is the process of recycling natural waste with the help of microorganisms. The waste is broken down to become smooth and crumbly dark soil with an earthy smell.
Compost is used in various processes such as gardening, horticulture, and agriculture. Compost is rich in nutrients and can be added to soil to enrich soil. Compost can also be used as mulch, potting soil, flowerbeds, and lawns. Compost can be used even if it is old. The nutrient amount will change if it is old but it won’t go bad.
What is Compost made of?
Compost is made of waste from plants, fruits, vegetables, and yards. Using the microorganisms this waste will be broken down.
Composting is a natural process done with waste, soil, water, and air. The soil gives the microorganisms that will eat the organic waste, the air provides oxygen and the water helps to speed up the process. Organic waste can take many forms. This includes everything from fruit coffee grounds and eggshells to leaves and grass clippings. As the material broke down, they will be warm and go up to 150 degrees F. It is important to keep it alive with oxygen and frequent watering and turning of the pile.
What are the materials that can be used in compost?
- orange peel
- Coffee ground
- Wood ash
- Grass clipping
- Leaves and plant waste
- Tea and coffee waste
- Saw dust
- Wood chip
- Fruit and vegetable waste
What are the materials that cannot be used in compost?
- Disease or infected plant waste
- Coal ash
- Fat, oil
- Pet waste
- Pesticide-used yard waste
- Dairy products
- Baked goods
- Scrapes from poultry, meat, and fish
What is Compost used for?
- The first and main use of compost is to enrich the soil. Compost helps the soil to enrich soil health and reduce erosion.
- Compost reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. As they act as a natural fertilizer for the soil.
- They help reduce waste disposal and convert it into useful fertilizer for the soil.
- Compost in the soil helps to save water. Studies have shown that compost helps soil retain water.
- Compost reduces the maintenance cost for gardening as they are easy to make and cost-efficient. It reduces the money spent on commercial compost.
- Compost even leads to the production of healthier food as they reduce the demerit of nutrient loss in plants and vegetables.
Tips to compost at home
- To prevent fruit flies in compost, add more browns to the compost and stop adding green until flies are out of food and go elsewhere.
- Take safety precautions when handling compost and waste. Use the safety glove mask and keep yourself clean to avoid allergy and infection.
What is a compost Bin?
A Compost bin is a bin used to store materials to compost. A compost bin can be made in plastic or wood depending on the preferences. The wooden compost is better as they give good aeration to compost. The durability and usage of wooden compost bins are better than plastic ones. The compost bin should be kept in an area with good aeration, and away from the rain. The compost bin should be covered with a lid to save the compost. It is advisable to put coarse material in the bottom layer of compost such as stalks from vegetables and flowers to prevent water drainage in compost.
What is a Lomi Composter?
Lomi composter is an electronic compost machine that is used to compost. The lomi compost is an electronic version of a compost bin that is manually done. The Lomi composter also reduces food waste but with less mess than a regular composter in the home. It is easy to use and odor-free. They can also compost more than regular compost does. It can be kept in any place, even in the kitchen as it is odor free. But with all the benefits it has noise demerits and is a bit pricey. Obviously, the compost bin is free of cost and can hold more than the lomi composter.
What is Humus Compost?
The question is even complicated, right? Yes, Humus and compost are two different words but most people think of them as the same and use them together. Humus is a stage in the composting process. Humus is the end process where all the decaying particles are decomposed.
Humus is fine soil but compost is still decaying. So the Humus is great for water retention purposes and the compost is great for soil quality enrichment.
While compost is a fertilizer, hummus is not. The active ingredient in compost makes it the best natural fertilizer for the soil.
What is Mushroom Compost good for?
Mushroom compost is a slow-release fertilizer used in the soil. It is made of hay and straw and animal manure. The NPK ratio of mushroom compost is 1:1:1. Mushroom compost has 50% of organic matter. Mushroom compost is more expensive than compost and has more nutrients and salts in it. Mushroom compost contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, manganese, sodium, copper, and zinc. This one breaks down faster than compost and crops with calcium deficiency love this compost. It is best to avoid this compost for drought-loving plants and salt-sensitive plants.
What is the best ratio of Compost to the soil?
It totally depends on the soil. As we add compost to soil with the quantity they need. But the general best ratio is 3 part soil to one part compost to enrich the soil.
What is the difference between Mulch and Compost?
Mulch is often replaced with compost but the two are different. The difference is that mulch is great at limiting weed growth and retaining moisture. The mulch is spread on the soil but compost is mixed with the soil. The mulch contains both organic and inorganic materials. They contain leaves, lawn clipping, wood, and other such products.
The Bottom line is that compost is very simple and easy to do as a DIY for your garden. It saves a whole lot of money if you can do the compost with little effort and time. Composting is not a science but merely an experiment to get a natural fertilizer for your soil. Besides, the compost pile will eventually break down no matter what. But with more time you spend on it, the result changes.
How can you identify finished compost?
Finished compost has no more smells and looks like organic soil.
If you use compost do you still need fertilizers?
It depends on the need for nutrients in the soil. Test the soil to know the amount to be provided. Some grasses need slow nitrogen fertilizer in such case both compost and fertilizer is used.
What are the natural composting materials?
Fruit and vegetable trimming and eggshells are natural materials for compost.
What is the best place to put a compost bin?
Compost bins should be placed in an easily accessible and high above-ground area. It should get some sunlight.