Compost is a great recycling bin for your garden. Almost everything unnecessary, together with unusable surpluses, cuttings, and other material from the garden together with organic residues from our kitchen can be used and as the basis for high quality and cheap fertilizer.
During the composting, the bio-waste material changes into substance that contains humus. The humus fastens organic and mineral substances and water. All these substances are then available for plants. The completed compost then becomes a quality fertilizer that contains everything what the plants take from soil and what they need for good growth, flowers and crops.
In the production of compost itself, consider exactly what you want to compost, what can be composted and the amount of organic waste and material that you will be now and in the future process. Follow the rules of composting.
How to produce compost
Quality compost is rich in nutrients and humus. The actual composting is a process similar to natural humification taking place in the soil. As long as we prepare for microorganisms and invertebrate animals the best conditions, we can speed up the whole process, and so we can prepare good humus substances in the next six months or even earlier. It should be kept in mind that humification processes require time.
How easily start compost in the garden
If you cannot afford a big compost, small composter is sufficient too. For the compost is the best hospitable and leeward place. Around composter is possible to plant shrubs that can cover and partly overshadow the composter and they help in maintaining the moisture in the compost.
In place of founding select footprint of compost and remove turfs of grass. On this exposed soil lay then the first layer of coarse wooden branches and sticks. This layer will function as aeration and drainage system. Between earth and compost may not be created in any case some impenetrable barrier, because otherwise the microbes and earthworms will not have access to a compost. We are grateful to work of these little creatures, because they transform the bio-waste material into high-quality fertilizer. Fences of compost should be also airy; for the fences are perfect old beams, planks, fused wood from fences and slats. You can also build it from perforated bricks.
Maturation of compost
If you have good quality composter, then in one year due to natural processes it will mature. You get a substrate jam-packed with nutrients that does not smell. A properly maintained compost does not propagate to its surroundings any odours. If the prepared compost has enough air, it is not necessary to toss it, but one or two turning over may rather accelerate the maturing process. The outer parts of the compost should get inside. You can also drape compost, for example with an old blanket or fabric layer of straw. It is important that this material is also permeable. This will help keep the heat that accelerates decomposition.
Compost should be moist, but not wet. After prolonged drought, it will be very beneficial to sprinkle the compost with rainwater. You can buy so-called "compost starter" that accelerates the decomposition process; because it contains so much needed microorganisms. In very similar way will serve also fermented extract from nettles or comfrey or from hen's droppings or manure.
What can we actually compost?
We can compost grass clippings, straw, leaves, sawdust, bark, branches and crushed organic kitchen waste (including coffee dregs and tea bags). We can even compost unprinted blank paper and cardboard. Very valuable materials for composting are nettles and other weeds, but if we are composting them with roots, some of them may survive. Therefore compost roots separately (e.g. in perforated plastic bags) and add them to the compost after half a year. Do not compost mature weed seeds.
Composters for small gardens
Plastic composters that can be purchased do not have too permeable walls, so be careful not to place into them waste or biomaterial that is too wet, or otherwise instead of desirable aerobic processes it will rot. You can quite easily make small composter yourself. All you need is a perforated barrel or bin or higher pen from planks. The top can be covered with some improvised lid from an old carpet or other fabrics.
Composting leaves in autumn
In the gardens, where there is a large number of wood and deciduous trees, usually in the fall there is a large surplus of leaves. Rake leaves into piles, store them on a classic compost, and encumber it with a layer of soil. It is suitable to compost leaves separately, because it decomposes for quite a long time. For creating leave compost is sufficient common litter box whose walls are filled with rabbit netting. Put into composter slightly wet leaves and cover it with old carpet. Partially composted leaves can be used as an excellent mulch that enriches the soil with humus and nutrients. Within two years, you will have quality and fine leaf mould, which is excellent patches or you, can use it as an excellent fertilizer for small fruit, or into pots on even for the lawn. The whole process will speed up, if you before composting crumble the leaves. If you drive with grass mower over pile of leaves, it will do the job.
Leaves of different tree species vary considerably. Beech leaves are rich in calcium; compost from oak leaves will have low PH. Very valuable are birch leaves. To avoid sticking leaves together we must mx it during composting with coarser material and mature compost or soil.
Compost made from fresh nettle is one of the best ever composts. Cut nettle plants and compost them without roots in combination with soil or older compost in the ratio of three parts of nettle plants with one part of soil. Wet everything. Cut nettles intended for composting before flowering, then their activity and power is greatest.
This compost has a high proportion of soil and it is relatively poor in nutrients. It usually consist grass turf, mud, etc. When we are composting grass turf, we put the roots up. Between two layers of grass turf put always one a layer of mature compost. Leave the mud in a thinner layer and leave it dry first after that compost coarse woody material. It is recommended to add mature compost. Turf compost is good fertilizer for flowers.
Fresh manure is not used for fertilization, because the nutrients from it very easily leached from the soil into the groundwater. In addition, there is an increased danger of infestation by various pests of vegetables and by different kind of mushrooms. Therefore, it is always better to compost manure first. For composting is best fresh, preferably straw manure. Beef manure is the most balanced manure. Constitution off other manures is somewhat one-sided. Lay the manure along with soil; we can add ground minerals and ash wood.
For the best manure is considered beef manure, pig manure is somewhat watery and cold, and it is better to pre-dry it. Horse manure is relatively easy over dried and overheated. It is also possible to compost poultry manure, manure from rabbits and pigeons droppings, which must be, on the opposite to horse manure, moistened before composting, if it is dry or over dried.
You can also make compost from bark and it is a great substitute for peat, but it is necessary to be careful not use barks from trees that were treated too intensively with insecticides. Compost crushed bark along with materials rich in nitrogen, which is for example poultry manure. Bark compost has a much better texture than peat and it has neutral PH.
A Grass compost
If you have a large lawn and turf and no animals that could depasture grass, then it can also be composted. Always compost grass together with branches and shrubs after the cutting and with leaves or reeds. Composted grass may overheat, which create danger of collapse of a manure pile and its decomposition. This condition can be avoided by letting the grass wither first and them mixing with soil and then we make sure that there is enough air in the pile. When we add some teared cardboard or paper into grass compost, we will secure well-structured compost. It is also suitable to add lime or ground minerals. A Grass compost is suitable for vegetables from first track and for the flowers.
Compost from moss
Larger quantities of moss never composted together with ordinary compost. Moss is inhibiting decomposition processes in normal compost, which has already begun, and for this reason, we must compost it separately. Because the moss is acidic, add lime and it is also recommended mix moss with soaked and ripped up cardboard and lay it with organic fertilizer rich in nitrogen. When layering material we may occasionally sprinkle it with nettle broth or hen's droppings, which accelerate the transformation processes. This kind of compost is a great for example for tomatoes.
Compost from waste made during tree cutting
Crushed branches can be used directly as a mulch in the orchard, but it can also be composted. Put soil into layers and spatter it with fluid fertilizer made from nettles. Full conversion of woody material into soil lasts much longer than that of conventional composting. The finer you cut the twigs, the faster will be their conversion. When composting fresh green twigs, they may easily overheat and dry out, so water compost with water or with nettle fertilizer. Such compost has a good structure and is suitable especially for fertilization of any berries or as a soil for flowers.
Composting straw is not just a simple task. It is necessary to crush first the straw and soak it properly. For this is the best solution nettle fertilizer or compost tincture - mature compost mixed with water. Lay that way prepared straw together with the soil or mature compost and moisturizes it with water. If it is possible, add to each layer fresh nettles or other green material. From straw we get quality compost in about half a year suitable for fertilizing berries, onions or carrots.