This article was a contribution from Beth at Bury Hill Topsoil.
Making your own compost can be rewarding and satisfying for any gardener. Fresh, organic compost can do wonders for your garden meaning your plants are healthier and hardier, your flowers produce bigger, brighter blooms and your fruit and vegetable patches have greater yields too.
How Do You Make Your Own Compost?
Buy a Good Quality Compost Bin
Most gardeners won’t like the look of or have space for a huge great compost heap in their gardens, therefore investing in a decent compost bin is the first step. It’s worth doing a little research before you buy, and make sure you choose one that’s a suitable size for your outdoor space. There are many different types of compost bins, and they vary in size and shape. You should not have any problem finding one to fit your needs.
Find a Good Spot for Your Compost Bin
Make sure that you place your compost bin in the perfect spot. You don’t want it to be too much of an eyesore, otherwise, you’ll start to resent having it there! At the same time it being close to the door will mean you won’t have to traipse down to the end of the garden in order to add to it – not a fun task if the weather isn’t great. Whatever you do, make sure you pick a spot that’s level and one where water doesn’t collect – this will help worms access your bin which will speed up the process.
Worms will be essential when it comes to creating good quality compost fast. If you want to speed things up don’t wait for the worms to come to you, you can buy compost worms to get you started right away. We find that the tiger worm is a particularly efficient little helper! We really recommend giving this a shot because it can make a noticeable difference in the time it takes to create usable compost.
Know What to Add to Compost
Your compost bin is a fantastic, environmentally friendly way of getting rid of, or rather re-using your food waste. Fruit and vegetables, tea bags, old flowers, and plant cuttings will all break down quickly and provide a vital source of nitrogen. Scrunched up cardboard, paper, and leaves will help provide carbon and fiber and aerate the compost. (Remember to scrunch not tear as this will help create air pockets). Crushed up egg shells are also useful and add much-needed minerals into the mix.
Know What Not to Add to Compost
Just chucking any old thing into your compost bin can do it more harm than good. Meat and dairy products are a no-no, diseased plants and pet waste are also a bad idea as you could end up with unpleasant odors and unwanted infestations too. Glass, plastics, and metals won’t decompose in the same way – however, you can recycle these separately of course!
It’s a Balancing Act
Compost needs to be ‘just right’ in order to work to its full effect. ‘Green material’ such as fruit and veg must be balanced with ‘brown material’ such as cardboard. If your compost is looking a little dry add more greens, if it’s looking a little sloppy add more browns – it’s as simple as that.
Remember to turn it
Compost needs a helping hand from time to time, so make sure that you give it a good stir regularly. You need to make sure you get right to the bottom of your compost bin so investing in a long-handled tool will make the job so much easier!
There’s No Harm in Cheating
If you are feeling a little impatient (aren’t we all?) why not boost your system by using a compost activator? This can speed up the process so your compost is ready twice as fast!
Know when it is ready
Finished compost will be a rich dark brown color and a spongy, crumbly texture. When it is good to go spread your fresh compost onto flowerbeds, in plant pots and mix with soil for plants and shrubs. This will encourage growth, suppress weeds and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers thus helping the environment too!
Making your own high-quality compost really is that simple. So if you are looking to give your garden a boost this spring, why not give it a try?
Bury Hill specializes in premium grade topsoils, lawn turf, and seasoned hardwood logs and coal. For more information about how our products can help you create the perfect garden why not get in touch, or for more gardening tips, check out the rest of our blog.