How to do home composting

How to do home composting

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Composting is simple and very useful for those who want to cultivate the vegetable garden ...

You will not have to worry about taking out the waste bin on the day of harvest and you will get a very useful humus for pot or garden plants.

What materials can be composted

YES: leftover fruit and raw or cooked foods, tea filters, coffee grounds, paper napkins, pot plants, soil, hair and feathers, wood shavings, leaves and grass clippings, garden waste, ash.

IN MODERATION: fish, meat, animal waste (they cause odors, attract mice and insects), citrus peels (slow decomposition, contain preservatives), foliage of some trees such as oak, chestnut, poplar, birch, walnut (they contain lignin and are slow to degrade) .

NO: walnut shells, kernels, bones (slow decomposition), inked or plasticized paper, tetrapack, dyed fabrics (contain synthetic materials).

In general, the more varied the materials used, the better the result.

Methods: heap, hole or compost bin

The heap it is the simplest system because properly ventilated, it requires space (base of about 100 cm, length of at least 150 cm, height 80 cm with triangular section).

The hole it is aesthetically repaired but care must be taken that there is no stagnation of water, then the material must be aired. Otherwise, rot and therefore bad smells are incurred.

The composter it is ideal for home composting, it does not bother aesthetically, limits odors and optimizes space. There are different sizes on the market, with even reduced costs.

The choice of place

Composting must be done in a place where it does not give, if done well the compost does not smell but some materials can still cause odors. The heap benefits from the shade in summer and from the sun in winter (for this reason the ideal is to do it under a plant that loses its leaves in autumn). There should be no puddles and water stagnations (we recommend preparing the ground by placing stones or branches under it). The compost bin, on the other hand, solves the problem of the place, it can be kept anywhere.

The carbon / nitrogen ratio

A fundamental factor in the composition of the heap is the presence of carbon and nitrogen which allow the life of microorganisms useful for decomposition. Too much nitrogen causes bad odors, while too much carbon slows down the process. A simple rule to keep is to balance the amount of "green" material rich in nitrogen (mowed grass, fresh garden and kitchen waste) and "brown" material that provides above all carbon (dry leaves, straw, chipped branches, sawdust, paper and cardboard).

Using the twigs in compost is very useful, precisely because they are elements that rebalance the carbon ratio in the face of grass and kitchen waste, which have more nitrogen wealth.

To do this it is best to shred the branches using a shredder, so that the branches can compost quickly. This tool is very useful for composting.

Humidity control and overturning

The heap must not be dry but not even with stagnant water. To measure the humidity of the heap, you can use the fist method: just hold some material in your hand and check how much water comes out. The ideal is that it releases a little moisture, if it remains completely dry it is too dry, if instead the water is too humid.
If the heap is too wet, it is necessary to add dry material (for example straw), if it becomes too dry it is useful to wet it.

The pile must be periodically turned over to oxygenate and mix the material, it is a very simple operation that can be performed with a pitchfork, it is advisable to turn the pile 2-3 weeks after adding fresh material and then do it every 2/5 months depending on the climate and the size of the heap.

Use of compost

The compost for the vegetable garden and garden is considered ready after 6/9 months, if you want a good mature compost to use for potted plants it is better to wait 9/12 months.

Video: Composting Part 1 - Garden Organics Video Guide: How to make compost


  1. Leonce

    It is very welcome.

  2. Mezinos

    the message is deleted

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