Making organic compost for your organic garden is an excellent way to give your plants the much needed natural nutrition they need, to ensure maximum growth. Compost is nothing more than broken down natural materials. By using compost, you’re improving the retention of moisture for your plants, it helps improve the structure and integrity of the soil, and lastly it aids in the “breathing” of your soil, by improving soil ventilation.
When it comes to making organic compost, the best news is that it can be made with virtually no cost and very little effort on your part. You can use food scraps, egg shells, leaves, grass clippings, bush trimmings, flowers, weeds, animal manure, and any other organic matter that will break down naturally.
Materials needed to make organic compost aren’t hard to obtain. In fact, you probably already own them. You need a sturdy pitch fork, rake, and a shovel. You will use these tools to turn and spread out your organic compost pile.
You will also need a good location for your compost pile. You do not want your compost pile to be placed next to any type of structure. For example, keep your compost heap away from fences, a shed, your house, trees, etc…A compost pile isn’t the most visually appealing site either. Therefore, you also want to try and put it somewhere out of sight. You wouldn’t want it in the front yard right next to your door. You also want to put it somewhere that attracts worms, bugs, and other insects. These tiny creatures will help to speed up the decomposition process.
You will also need some organic material to decompose. This was touched on a little bit above. Such items as grass clippings, weeds, bush trimmings, etc…These items are what provides your compost pile with nitrogen; which, in turn, creates nitrogen rich food for your plants.
You will also need some dried straw and dried leaves. These natural materials will add carbon to your organic compost. Remember, plants need carbon dioxide to survive. The carbon is needed to create the carbon dioxide.
You should also add potassium and phosphorous to your organic compost. These will make sure the soil is chemically well balanced.
Once you have an organic compost pile, it is highly suggested you spread and turn the pile every other week. By doing this, you will speed up the rate in which decomposition takes place. The easiest way to know the decomposition process has completed, is to look at the compost. When the color turns a dark, rich, color; you know it is finished and ready to be put on your organic garden. Also, when you pick it up in your hands, it will have a very distinct “earthy” and sweet smell to it. The smell will be very prevalent if you crumble it in your hands.
There is one thing worth mentioning about compost piles: They should never have a bad odor. This is a common misconception about compost piles. A compost heap, which has a bad odor, is one which isn’t being properly taken care of. If your compost pile does begin to smell bad, it could be because it has too much water or not enough oxygen. This can be fixed by aerating the compost pile. Spread it out, turn it over.
You can use such kitchen items as egg shells, potato peelings, wilted lettuce, etc…You should not use meat scraps, dead vines, grease, or bones. These types of organic materials can contaminate your organic compost.
Hopefully, you’ll see the benefit to using organic compost on your organic garden. Organic compost is a quality source of nutrition for your organic garden. Again, best of all, it’s very low cost.