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A Simple Guide to Organic Composting

Aug 15, 2008
There's a lot of materials out there about composting and compost and the last thing you need is another one that explains the technical aspect of the process and the scientific basis behind the importance of using composts.

Although, I'm not denying the fact that technical explanations such as those are necessary as well, but it would be nice to hear or read something more of layman's approach on the subject. Well that's something that this article would like to do, anyhow.

Compost is an organic substance that is added to the soil which functions more than just being a fertilizer. It is a mulch, a soil conditioner, and something that will help the soil give the best nutrients and minerals your plants need. With compost, the soil also is able to hold more water, which is also beneficial to your plants.

There are several composting methods which you can employ or use. The so called no-turn composting method seems to be the easiest. Like what the title of the method indicates, you don't need to turn the pile of compost at least once every week to quicken the process of decomposition. In this no-turn technique, all you need to do is add a lot of coarse materials to your compost.

Adding a lot of straw would do just fine. What the straw does is to create air pockets and allow the pile to be aerated. You can expect your compost to be developed at the same rate as when you employ the traditional turn-over composting technique. When you use this composting technique, be sure to get your compost from the bottom of the pile. Just add new organic materials on the top keeping in mind adding coarse materials as well.

If the only available composting materials in your yard are piles and piles of leaves, then don't worry. Creating composts from leaves alone can be done. You just need a couple of things, and some very simple techniques. Select a place where you will make your compost pile. For the leaves, the place ideal would be a well shaded area which will help keep the pile damp or moist. Also keep in mind that the pile should not be packed tightly. Keep it loose to allow the air to circulate.

In four or six months, the compost from leaves should be finished and ready to be applied to the soil. Take a mental note, however, that the compost created from the leaves does not contain enough nutrients and microorganism to function as a fertilizer. The finished compost, however, is great as soil conditioner.

When composting, you will need materials rich in carbon and nitrogen namely fruits and vegetable scraps and other table scraps except left over bones because they attract a number of pests and animals. Other products include eggshells, grass or shrub clippings, pine needles, seaweed and kelp, coffee grounds, wood ash, tea leaves, cardboard and shredded paper, corn stalks, wood chips, and sawdust.

To discourage fruit flies and other pests from grouping together on your pile, it would be best to cover the pile or add lime or calcium over the top or whenever you add new materials to your compost. The lime and calcium also help neutralize the odors from your pile.

I hope you were able to have a simplified view of the composting and got some useful and simple tips from the article. Just remember that composting is difficult only if you want it to be.
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