There’s a lot to be said for investing in your garden soil. The time and effort you spend on creating the best growing medium for your plants will be rewarded with healthier and more vigorous plants and bigger harvests. Compost is the best additive you can add to your soil. There are plenty of places you can go if you want to buy it. It’s also possible to buy it online from various suppliers such as Green Vale Products Ltd. However, it is relatively easy to make your own so why not give it a go?
All You Need to Make the Perfect Compost
There are three basic elements required if you want to make your own compost. Once you’ve got these in place the compost pretty much takes care of itself.
The Right Container – it doesn’t have to be something fancy and it doesn’t have to cost a lot either. What it needs to do is hold all the ingredients together in one place. This will allow bacteria to break down the plant matter. You can buy a purpose made bin or build a container or your own.
The Right Ingredients – a certain balance of material is required in order to create the best compost and it’s a mixture of brown and green plant matter. Brown elements include dry leaves, shredded newspaper and wood chips. The green elements include grass clippings and food waste. Small branches and woody stems are best on the bottom of your pile as they provide good airflow. After that it’s a simple matter of adding both green and brown materials.
Basic Maintenance of Your Compost Pile – you don’t need to spend hours tending it, but a small amount of care will make a big difference. Material needs to be added regularly so that the bacteria are kept busy. It will also need to be turned every couple of weeks so that the material is blended and able to work together to provide better compost. You’ll need to check the compost for moisture content. Too much moisture will mean your compost is slimy. Too little and it won’t decompose quickly.
Get these three things right and within a few months your compost should be ready to use. Grab a handful and smell it. It should smell like fresh earth and be dark and crumbly.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
It’s already been said that making your own compost is easy. However, there are a couple of mistakes that gardeners sometimes make.
Mix and Match – don’t be tempted to use more of one type of material. Good compost relies on a mixture of textures and nutrients from many different types of material. A huge clump of grass clippings is not going to decompose quickly. Add a few leaves and give it a stir and something magical happens.
Manage Moisture – don’t leave it too long without checking for moisture, especially when the weather is dry. Moisture is an important part of the process.
Making your own compost doesn’t require a horticultural degree. Anyone can do it so don’t be afraid. Give it a go and you’ll soon get the hang of it and understand what does and doesn’t work.