When planting a garden, whether it is flower or vegetable, the right soil foundation is imperative to the success of the garden. Beginning with a rich and moist soil is important, but adding compost to the garden throughout the season will keep the nutrients in the soil, maintaining the richness of the soil quality. To do this, a compost bin is necessary. You can add recycled waste from your garden and scraps from your kitchen to the bin to create natural and organic compost. Adding compost will give you healthy and bountiful crops!
The first step to getting compost is creating a compost bin. This can be a 20 gallon plastic or wood bin that will store the compost. Drill holes into the side of the bin for air circulation, and place the bin a warm and protected area. The bin should not be placed in a hot sunny spot or in a place where it can be rained on. These elements will damage the compost.The bin should be filled one quarter full with a good top soil to provide structure to your compost. To this soil add kitchen scraps like fruits, vegetables, breads, egg shells, coffee grounds, nuts, as well as garden weeds, grass clippings, straw, paper and spoiled vegetables. These products all create a well balanced compost that is both rich in nitrogen and carbon, this combination creates healthy and happy gardens.
After the compost bin is full, water it until it is moist all the way through but be careful to make sure it is not soggy. Composting will need to be watered frequently, as water allows for the breakdown of the organic materials. It should not over watered though, because this can cause rot, instead of just breaking down the materials.The compost will need mixed, thoroughly, twice a day. The microorganisms need air to be able to break down the compost. If they are not allowed the air, they will suffocate and then your compost will be ruined. If you mix it more often, the compost will break down quicker. The compost pile should also be fed once a week as well. Mix in the new additions, then water to keep adequate moisture in the pile.
The compost is usable and ready to be harvested once it reaches a dark and crumbly consistency. The compost can be ready in several weeks or may take a few months before it is ready to be used. It will depend upon the weather and how often it will be mixed. Take the materials that are dark and crumbly only, and leave the rest in the bin, as it needs more time.What exactly will this compost do for your soil and your plants? Mainly, it will better your soil, helping plants to overcome many deficiencies. Compost will boost plant health, and at the same time reduces the amount of materials that go to a local landfill, allowing them to be recycled. Composting can actually reduce yard waste that needs to be hauled away by 50-75%. Compost is a great resource for gardeners who work in poor natural soil conditions, adding needed nutrients to the soil.
Compost has many advantages, and as long as you keep it in a bin, it will not affect the appearance e or smell of your setting. It can boost the size of your harvest, as well as help to bolster the soil. It also reduces waste and allows for recycling, helping to make the world a little more green!
By: Susan Soler of the Garden-Fountains.com Team