Compost is an indispensable component of fertile soil in your garden and is the most affordable fertilizer, literally derived from waste. Properly prepared compost not only replenishes the need for plants in nutrients, but also improves the structure of the soil, its friability and the ability to absorb and retain moisture.
"Correct" compost is not just a pile in the corner of the garden, where you can dump everything you need. To compost was useful and safe, you must follow certain rules.
The composition of the compost may include:
- mowed grass, hay and straw;
- green parts of healthy plants and some weeds;
- branches, remains of wood and sawdust;
- food residues of plant origin;
- manure of herbivores and droppings of birds;
- chalk, ash, coal, eggshell;
- composting accelerators.
You can not use the compost pile as a trash pile by adding the following components to it:
- animal food residues - they cause decay and a persistent unpleasant odor;
- feces of people and carnivorous pets - they can contain eggs of worms;
- rags, coated glossy paper, rubber, stones, bones - these components do not decompose during composting;
- chemicals and disinfectants;
- weeds that have seeds with a long germinating period, as well as creeping roots - in the process of composting these plants do not lose their germination;
- diseased plants affected by pests and fungal diseases, for example, phytophthora. They need to be burned.
Store the components in compost. It can be made in the form of a pit or a fenced compartment, located in a secluded corner of the garden. According to the rules, the compost pile laid does not emit strong odors and does not have a harmful effect on the soil.
The correct arrangement of the compost heap is one of the pledges of a fast receipt of quality compost. It is not difficult to execute it, it is important to follow the recommendations.
- The prepared site is leveled and enclosed by boards, boards or sheets of slate. It is better to place it in a slightly shaded place without direct sunlight. The bottom of the pit or compartment is filled with a layer of drainage - sand, gravel, large wood residues. Water, moistened with compost layers, must flow freely from the compost.
- At the bottom of the compost pyramid necessarily lay a layer of mature mature compost - last year or before last year. This layer supplies the components with a sufficient number of bacteria, through which fermentation takes place.
- Prepared components are crushed as much as possible: grass and straw can be chopped with a shovel, branches are finely broken. The smaller the particle size of the components, the faster the compost ripens. Remember that fresh coniferous sawdust reduces the potassium content in the compost, so a compost with a lot of sawdust needs to be enriched with potassium phosphate fertilizer.
- Lay the components layer by layer, the thickness of each layer is not more than 15 cm. At the same time they try to alternate the green mass with wood and food waste. The content of green components should not exceed a third of the total volume, as the herbaceous residues themselves are poorly fermented and rot. If the main part of the waste consists of grass, it is best to dress it in the sun.
- Between the components, you can put a thin layer of manure or manure, you can use a purchased liquid fertilizer or composting accelerators. Manure is best used with horse or cow, from litter the best is considered chicken. In this case, note that the litter is a concentrated fertilizer. Its content in the compost pile should not exceed 5-10%.
- Place the compost pile in the form of a pyramid or cone - so its stability increases, and the air exchange conditions improve. The top of the compost pyramid is covered with a spindhead, straw, stems or boards. Polyethylene film is not recommended to use, under it compost will start without access to air, which will lead to the appearance of putrefactive odor.
The fermentation and composting process lasts from several months to two to three years, the composting time depends on the size of the components and the fermentation regime. It is important to raise the temperature inside the pyramid to 55-60 degrees and above, while not only accelerating the decomposition of components with the help of bacteria, but also lose the seeds of weeds, pests and insects are killed. For proper operation it is important to ensure good composting with moisture and air. This is achieved through simple operations.
- In dry and hot weather, the compost heap should be watered until all soaking is complete. Do it better from a hose, since the volume of water will be quite large. Watering is best done in the morning on a warm day, so that wet compost per day has warmed up, and active decomposition processes began in it.
- Periodically, you can add a composting accelerator or fresh fresh manure into the water for irrigation.
- Once or twice a season compost must be shoveled with mixing layers. This will help to take out the inner, already fermented part of the compost pyramid outward, and move the upper layers inside.
- In addition, digging is useful for saturating the compost with air. If your compost has started to publish unpleasant putrefactive smells, try to shovel it.
- For the winter, composting can be insulated - this will prolong the time of active fermentation. To do this, compost pyramids are covered with peat or humus and cover the harvested tops from root crops, fallen leaves, sunflower stalks or fresh straw. Vegetable residues will retain heat inside the compost, and next year they can be used for a new compost pyramid.
It is possible to use compost when it acquires a practically homogeneous structure, becomes loose and friable. The ripe compost smells pleasantly of damp earth and leaves, there should be no traces of fungus and mold. Ready compost is added to the wells when planting bushes and trees or planting seedlings, mulching them soil under perennial plants or adding to greenhouses and greenhouses. You can also sprinkle it on the beds before planting the seeds and gently rinse the surface of the soil.