Organic composting is the best way to feed your organic garden. Making your own organic compost will help you reduce pollution and cut down that landfill! Your plants will grow healthier and look happier for it and it will save you money on fertilizers too.
Not sure where the quote came from but it goes…
Composting is natures way of recycling.
Organic composting is indeed a natural way of recycling, harnessing natural processes rather than machinery and man-made chemicals, but it takes people to do it.
Soil maintenance is at the heart of organic growing: don’t feed the plants, feed the soil – the plants will look after themselves. The extremely complex subject of soil maintenance can happily be summed up in one word: composting.
A smelly hole at the far end of the garden filled with putrefying kitchen wastes and flies buzzing round. That’s what compost isn’t. No stinky mess, no flies, though kitchen waste is welcome.
Organic compost is not just decayed organic matter. Composting is applied microbiology at its most complex, involving the interactions of thousands upon thousands of different species of micro organisms in a highly complex ecosystem.
What can I compost?
If it can rot it will compost, but some items are best avoided. Some things, like grass clippings and soft young weeds, rot quickly. They work as activators or hotter rotters, getting the composting started, but on their own will decay to a smelly mess. Recycle your plant-based, kitchen and garden waste by making it into compost
Older and tougher plant material is slower to rot but gives body to the finished compost – and usually makes up the bulk of a compost heap. Woody items decay very slowly; they are best chopped or shredded first, where appropriate.
A container or brown bin is not an absolute necessity as you can make perfectly good compost in a free standing heap as long as it is large enough. You will see later why this may be a drawback. Assuming then that we need to make a container we are faced with many choices.
Why not make or buy a compost bin? They are usually cheap to buy, and are available in wood or recycled plastic (that might otherwise be in your local landfill site). If you are keen you could combine it with a vermicompost or use a shredder which increases the amount of compostable waste. Do not compost foods such as dairy produce, meat, bread etc as these attract flies and vermin.
How do I know when its done?
That depends. What was a pile of plant material will gradually, from the bottom up, turn into a pile of dark stuff that looks like brown dirt. Eventually, none of the items you put in there will be recognizable. If you are using it out in the garden, a few small recognizable bits wont hurt – they will finish composting in the garden. If you are using it for houseplants or to start seeds, its better to wait until its well finished so you won’t have microbes attacking the fine rootlets of new plants.
Dig it in to your garden to have healthy, fertile soil and your fruit and vegetables can be organic. Don’t assume the waste is harmless and trash it. Putting organic composting materials in a landfill costs money and it will produce methane; also it may pollute the groundwater.
Compost waste often comprises about 20-30% of your total household waste and the impact on recycling is significant.