Who can compost?
Four things are required…
- A space
- A container
- Dry, “brown” compostable material
- “Green” or moist compostable material
Build and they will come. When you assemble your composting area, local microbes will find their way in. How many micro-organisms does it take to make compost? An impressive number…
According to carryoncomposting.com
The actual species of composting microorganism in any given heap will vary, … They are normally found in compost 5-7 days after the start of the process…
- Bacteria 1,000,000 – 1 billion present per gram of compost.
- Actinomycetes 100,000 -100 million in a gram of compost.
- Fungi 10,000 -1,000,000, fungal cells per gram of compost.
They do the amazing work of transforming your yard and food scraps into nutritious food for the earth.
So how do you do it?
Green ingredients supply nitrogen and include kitchen scraps, fresh lawn clippings and weeds pulled from your garden. We need the green ingredients, but if there is too much green, the pile can smell and turn slimy. It will rot rather than compost.
Brown ingredients add carbon. These include dry items, such as dried leaves, branches, hedge clippings, straw, etc. The carbon is very necessary but too much will slow down the composting process. Balance is everything.
Try to layer the ingredients for balance. A few inches of each will do.
Stir it up every now and then to be sure oxygen is getting to all the microbial workers and if it hasn’t rained, add some moisture. Let nature do the rest.
How long does it take? Weeks to months, depending on the container, the ingredients and conditions like heat and moisture.
Here are some facts about why composting is important:
Compost returns nutrients to the soil, which will be released slowly over 1-2 years for optimal plant growth & health.
Compost is a natural fertilizer. It improves soil aeration and drainage.
Compost placed on top of the soil promotes weed control by suppressing growth and making it harder for weeds to take root.
Compost helps to control erosion.
Compost protects plant roots from sun and wind damage. Spread around trees and shrubs.
Compost conserves water. When used as mulch, the soil retains moisture beneath it.
Compost improves loose or sandy soils. It aids drainage in clay or other heavy soils.
Compost reduces soil diseases because of its high nutrient content.
You can add it to your garden, your house plants, the roots of your trees, sprinkle it anywhere you would like to feed your plants, add to or improve your soil.