Organic compost is a simple and sustainable way to nourish and strengthen your garden soil, promoting healthy plant growth. Plus, by making your own compost at home, you are helping to reduce the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills and emits greenhouse gases.
In this article, we’ll show you how to make organic compost for your garden easily and efficiently, using natural materials available in your home.
Discover the benefits of organic compost and learn how to make it step by step to take care of your garden and the environment.
What is compost and why is it important?
Organic compost is a natural material obtained through the decomposition of organic waste, such as leaves, branches, food scraps and manure, among others. By making your own organic compost at home, you can recycle your household organic waste and turn it into high quality compost to nourish your garden soil.
Organic compost is important because it helps improve soil structure, increases water and nutrient retention, and encourages the growth of microorganisms beneficial to plants. By using organic compost as a natural fertilizer, you are avoiding the use of chemicals that are harmful to the health of the soil and the environment.
For the process of how to prepare organic compost for your garden, you need to follow some basic steps, such as selecting the right materials, mixing them in proper proportions, keeping the compost moist and aerated, and waiting for the materials to decompose. Fortunately, the process of making organic compost is easy and does not require much effort.
Types of materials that can be used to make organic compost.
An important issue within the process of how to prepare an organic compost for your garden is the selection of the types of materials for these purposes. There are several types of materials that can be used to make organic compost at home. These include garden waste, such as dry leaves, twigs, branches, grass and plant debris; kitchen waste, such as fruit and vegetable peels, coffee and tea grounds, and egg; and animal waste, such as cow, horse or chicken manure.
To prepare an organic compost for your garden, it is important to select the right materials. Carbon-rich materials, such as dried leaves and twigs, provide structure and aeration to the compost, while nitrogen-rich materials, such as kitchen scraps and manure, speed up the decomposition process and provide nutrients for plants.
A good mix of materials for organic compost includes about 2/3 carbon-rich materials and 1/3 nitrogen-rich materials. It is also important to chop or shred the materials to speed up the decomposition process and keep the compost moist and aerated.
Steps to prepare an organic compost.
How to make organic compost for your garden is a simple process that can make a big difference in the care of your garden and the environment. Here are some basic steps to prepare an organic compost efficiently and effectively.
The first step is to select the right materials. As mentioned earlier, a good mix of materials for organic compost includes about 2/3 carbon-rich materials and 1/3 nitrogen-rich materials. You can use dried leaves, kitchen scraps, manure and other organic materials.
Once you have the materials, the next step is to shred them into small pieces. Then, mix the materials in a container or in an outdoor pile. It is important to keep the compost moist, but not too wet, to ensure good decomposition. You can add water if the compost feels dry.
Finally, wait for the materials to decompose and turn into a dark, nutrient-rich substance. The time it takes for the compost to be ready depends on the type of materials and the climate, but it usually takes several months to a year.
How to select a suitable composting site in the garden.
Selecting a suitable place for organic compost is crucial to ensure good decomposition and to avoid bad odors and pests in the garden. Here are some tips for choosing the best place for your compost in the garden.
First, it is important to find a place that has good ventilation and access to sunlight. Ventilation helps keep the compost aerated and sunlight helps speed up the decomposition of organic materials.
You should also choose a location that is away from the house and gathering areas, as compost can generate bad odors and attract flies and other insects. A place out of sight can also be a good option if you prefer to maintain the aesthetics of the garden.
Another important factor to consider is protection from rain. If the compost gets too wet, it can generate bad odors and lose important nutrients. To avoid this, you can cover the compost with a tarp or place it in a place protected by trees or other elements.
Finally, it is important to choose an accessible place so that you can add materials and remove the compost easily. If you have a large garden, it may be useful to have several composts in different locations to facilitate the process.
How to keep compost in good condition and speed up decomposition.
Once you have prepared your organic compost, it is important to keep it in good condition and speed up its decomposition to get the best results. Here are some tips on how to do this.
First, it is important to keep the compost moist but not wet. If the compost dries out too much, decomposition slows down and the microorganisms that aid in the process die. On the other hand, if the compost gets too wet, it can generate bad odors and lose important nutrients. The general recommendation is to keep the compost as moist as a sponge that has been squeezed.
Another important factor is the aeration of the compost. The compost must be aerated so that the microorganisms that decompose it can have access to the oxygen they need to survive. Therefore, it is recommended to stir the compost regularly to avoid compaction and keep it aerated.
In addition, it is important to add organic materials regularly to maintain microbial activity. It is advisable to add a mixture of green materials (such as fruit and vegetable scraps) and brown materials (such as dry leaves and twigs) to maintain a balance of nutrients and accelerate decomposition.
Finally, it is important to control the temperature of the compost. The compost must maintain a warm temperature so that microorganisms can thrive. If the compost gets too cold, decomposition slows down. Conversely, if the compost gets too hot, the microorganisms may die. An ideal temperature is between 40 and 60 degrees Celsius.
When and how to use compost on garden plants.
Organic compost is an excellent fertilizer for your garden plants, providing essential nutrients and improving soil structure. However, it is important to know when and how to use compost for best results.
First, it is important to make sure that the compost is completely decomposed before applying it to the garden. If undecomposed compost is applied, it can absorb nitrogen from the soil and cause nutritional deficiencies in your plants. Generally, compost is ready to use when it has a smooth, uniform texture.
Once compost is ready, it is advisable to apply it in spring or fall, when plants are actively growing. The compost should be spread evenly on the soil surface and then mixed with a garden fork to ensure that the nutrients reach the roots of the plants.
It is important to note that the amount of compost to apply depends on the type of plant and the size of the garden. In general, it is recommended to apply a layer of compost approximately 2-3 inches thick. If too much compost is applied, it can retain too much water and lead to root rot.
It is also important to keep the compost moist after application so that nutrients can be absorbed by plant roots. Therefore, it is recommended to water the plants regularly after applying the compost.
Tips and tricks for efficient organic composting.
Making efficient organic compost may require some practice and experience. However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you speed up the process and get high quality compost for your garden.
First, it is important to select a good variety of organic materials for composting. The ideal combination includes a mix of dry materials, such as leaves, twigs and paper, and wet materials, such as food scraps and manure. The ideal ratio is about 2/3 dry materials and 1/3 wet materials.
Another important tip is to shred or chop materials into smaller pieces before adding them to the compost. This will help speed up the decomposition process and reduce the size of the materials in the final compost.
Aeration is another important factor in making efficient compost. It is necessary to stir the compost regularly to oxygenate it and maintain a constant temperature. This can be done manually with a garden pitchfork or with an automatic composter.
It is important to maintain adequate moisture in the compost to promote decomposition. If the compost is too dry, add a little water to moisten it. If it is too wet, add more dry materials.
Finally, it is important to be patient and allow the compost to fully decompose before using it in the garden. This can take several weeks to several months, depending on the quantity and quality of the materials used.
Myths and truths about organic compost.
Organic composting is an increasingly common practice among gardening and agriculture enthusiasts, as it offers a natural and economical way to fertilize the soil and nourish plants. However, despite its many benefits, there are still some myths and truths surrounding compost that are important to clarify.
One of the most common myths is that compost attracts pests and rodents. While it is true that certain organic materials can attract insects and rodents, a well-made and well-maintained compost should not be a problem. To avoid this, it is important to keep compost in a suitable, aerated location away from areas inhabited by humans and pets.
Another myth is that compost can cause odors and pollution. While it is true that a poorly made or poorly maintained compost can smell bad, a well-made and well-maintained compost should not cause odor problems. In addition, organic compost is a natural and safe way to fertilize the soil and should not cause pollution.
An important truth about composting is that it is an effective way to reduce organic waste in landfills and contribute to environmental conservation. By recycling organic waste in compost, you reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and prevent the release of greenhouse gases that occur when organic waste decomposes in an anaerobic environment.
Another important truth is that organic compost is an effective and economical way to fertilize the soil and improve the quality of plants and crops. Compost is rich in nutrients and beneficial soil microorganisms, and can improve water retention and soil structure.
How to avoid common mistakes when making organic compost.
Making organic compost may seem like a simple task, but in reality there are many factors to consider in order to achieve efficient and healthy compost. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when composting organically.
One of the most common mistakes is adding too many dry materials or too many wet materials. In order for compost to break down properly, it is necessary to maintain a proper balance between dry materials (such as leaves, twigs, and cardboard) and wet materials (such as food scraps, yard waste, and manure). If too much dry material is added, the compost may take too long to decompose and will not provide the necessary nutrients to the soil. If too much wet material is added, the compost can smell bad and attract pests and rodents.
Another common mistake is not aerating compost regularly. Compost needs oxygen to decompose properly, so it is important to stir it regularly and make sure it is well aerated. If compost is not aerated properly, it can generate bad odors and may not decompose efficiently.
It is also important to ensure that the compost is in a suitable location. The compost should be in a place that receives sufficient sunlight and is protected from wind and rain. In addition, it is important to avoid placing the compost near areas inhabited by humans and domestic animals.
Another common mistake is to add materials unsuitable for composting, such as meat, bones, oils and dairy products. These materials can attract pests and rodents, as well as generate bad odors and pollution. It is important to limit compost to suitable organic materials, such as food scraps, yard waste and manure.
Organic compost as a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers.
Organic compost is a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers that is increasingly used by gardeners and farmers who are aware of the impact that chemicals have on the environment and human health.
Unlike chemical fertilizers, organic compost is a natural product obtained through the decomposition of organic materials, such as food scraps and garden waste. By using organic compost instead of chemical fertilizers, you reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and recycle natural nutrients that would otherwise be lost.
In addition, organic compost is a safer and healthier alternative for soil, plants and people than chemical fertilizers. Organic compost provides essential nutrients to the soil, improves soil structure and helps retain moisture. At the same time, organic compost does not contain the harmful chemicals found in chemical fertilizers, such as nitrates, phosphates and pesticides.
Organic compost can also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. By recycling organic materials and using them in place of chemical fertilizers, the amount of energy needed to produce and transport chemical fertilizers is reduced. In addition, organic compost can help reduce the amount of methane produced in landfills.