How to make compost from garden waste

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Make compost from garden waste! About 75 percent of household waste can be made into excellent fertilizer for flower and vegetable gardens provided that beneficial organic waste is used and it is processed correctly. Composting, the process of turning organic waste into fertilizer, is becoming more and more popular among household gardeners not only because of environmental considerations, but also because it’s economical and chemical free.


How to make compost from garden waste

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Make compost from garden waste! About 75 percent of household waste can be made into excellent fertilizer for flower and vegetable gardens provided that beneficial organic waste is used and it is processed correctly. Composting, the process of turning organic waste into fertilizer, is becoming more and more popular among household gardeners not only because of environmental considerations, but also because it’s economical and chemical free.


Collect food waste from your kitchen: banana peels, spoiled fruit, eggshells, vegetable peelings, peanut shells, etc. Things not to include are oils, grease, milk products, and animal fats/meat.


Collect wood ashes from your fireplace. (Do not use coal or charcoal dust).


Save garden waste including grass clippings, dried leaves, hedge clippings, weeds, dead flowers, twigs, pine needles, etc. If you have leaves on your lawn, do not remove them before mowing. Put all collected leaves from other areas on your lawn before mowing. Trim plants and flowers before mowing and put the clippings on your lawn. Then when you mow, all the garden waste materials will be finely chopped and mixed with grass clippings.


Include newspapers in your compost pile. If you have a paper shredder, shred them first. This will allow them to break down faster. If you don't have a shredder, tear the paper into the smallest scraps as possible. Do not use colored or glossy paper.


Save sawdust from your workshop (as long as it does not come from painted or stained wood).


If you have chickens, horses, or cows, add some of the manure (and feathers) to your compost pile. If you live near a chicken or dairy farm, farmers are usually happy to give you some of the waste they collect. Other manures that are good for making fertilizer are duck, rabbit, pig, pigeon, sheep, and goat. Do not use dog or cat (or any carnivore) manure.


By far, the easiest and most convenient composter is a barrel-type that is mounted on a stand with a crank. You can throw in all your materials and give it a spin a couple times around every day. This yields remarkable results very quickly (sometimes as quickly as two weeks, depending on the temperature). Make sure the composter barrel or drum you get has vents for aeration and screened drainage holes. (Put a bucket under the drainage hole to collect the "tea" that drains from the compost; add one part "compost tea" to 10 parts water for a liquid fertilizer).


If using a compost pit, put all the waste material in the pit and mix it with a pitchfork once or twice a month until all material is thoroughly broken down into a dark, loamy compost.


Work the finished compost into the soil around plants.


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