How to Create the Best Compost for Your Veggiescomments (1) September 30th, 2016
Compost is one of the best ways to ensure that your vegetable garden is getting all of the vitamins, nutrients, and all around good stuff that regular soil can't. Also, buying premade compost from the store can get expensive if you're serious about your veggie garden. So I've put together this helpful article to teach you about the fundamentals of good composting and how to make your own right at home!
What is Compost?
Firstly, you should understand what compost is and how it works. So, nature composts on its own, it's a natural process that occurs. But we've figured out a way to do it ourselves and speed up the process to create usable material for our gardens.
Basically, all it does is take organic material and decomposes at a quicker rate than normal to produce enriched soil. We use things like mulch, newspaper, and yard clippings to make our own compost. The result is a dark brown soil that smells like a damp forest. It's used to mix with regular soil and enhance your garden and the things that grow in it without the use of chemicals.
Getting the Perfect Balance
So, now that you know what compost is, it's time to start making it. But you can't just toss whatever organic matter you have in a bin in the backyard and expect it to work. You need a balance of two different key ingredients. These ingredients are often referred to as green and brown material.
The green materials are comprised of stuff such as grass clippings, coffee remnants, and any leftover veggies from your kitchen. Together, they create the nitrogen that's required to make good compost.
Next, the brown materials come from things such as newspapers, mulch, dead leaves, etc. They help to break down the more organic materials better and at an ideal rate. The combo of green and brown materials mixed with regular soil create good compost.
Mix, Mix, Mix!
So, now that we've learned what compost is and what goes in it, we move on to the next stage; making sure you have an even mix. You can't fill your bin with mostly green material and then a little bit of brown on top. That won't work. Like everything in this world, it has to be balanced perfectly.
So, start with a layer of soil. Then add some green material, and top if with a layer of brown. Repeat that to create a working system within your bin and the rest should take care of itself.
Then, once every few days, take a stick, rake, or garden fork and mix up the material inside the bin. This ensures that everything is breaking down properly, and help break up any clumps that may occur.
Add in Some Worms!
I know, I know. This sounds gross. But worms are nature's aerators. It's one of the greatest ways to ramp up the quality of your soil as well as your compost. They eat and chew their ways through the material, leaving behind even better stuff as well as creating aeration in the soil for better drainage and nutrient absorption.
Just go on the hunt for worms, earthworms are the best, and just toss them in. They know what to do. But, if you're uncomfortable with getting them yourself, there are ways to attract the to your open compost heap. Just try adding some coffee grounds. Worms love it and will automatically attracted to the heap.
This process is actually called vermicomposting, and is commonly used in almost all forms of gardening. Don't be afraid to use them. They won't hurt your veggies and will definitely improve the quality of your home made compost.
So there you have it! I hope this article helped clear up any misconceptions you had about composting. There's no wrong time to start and you can do it for free. And by improving the quality of your garden's soil, you're investing in the veggies you grow there. In the end, you're investing in your health as vegetables, like sweet potatoes and tomatoes, have so many benefits for your body.
If you enjoyed this helpful article or have any info of your own to add, feel free to comment and share below!
posted in: compost, vegetable garden