PostHeaderIcon Mastering The Art of Composting – Part 1

Making compost is one of the ways to reduce the organic waste in our lives. If you are a gardening enthusiast, you ought to be excited about composting as the compost pile can provide your garden plants with the essential nutrients for robust growth.

Knowing how to make good quality compost is important if you’re going to feed your garden plants with it. Compost, made from decomposed grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and branches, becomes a dark, crumbly mixture of organic matter. Regardless if you are a newbie or novice, the following factors will help you to master the art of composting.

1. Materials

Any living thing will eventually decompose but not all organic items are suitable for home composting. To prepare compost, you need to have organic material, micro-organisms, air, water, and a small amount of nitrogen.

Items that are safe to compost at home include:
* leaves
* twigs
* plant stalks
* grass clippings
* potting soil that has grown old
* trimmings from hedges
* coffee filters with coffee grounds
* vegetable scraps
* tea bags
* weeds that have not went to seed

Items that are NOT safe to compost at home include:
* dead animals
* pet feces
* diseased plants
* weeds that have went to seed
* bread and grains
* meat
* grease
* cooking oil
* oily foods

2. How To Make It Work
Micro-organisms are tiny forms of plant and animal life that break down the organic material. You’ll be surprised how plenty micro-organisms can be found simply from a small amount of garden soil or manure.

Nitrogen, air, and water provide a favorable environment for the micro-organisms to make the compost. Air circulation and water is responsible for keeping the micro-organisms healthy and functioning. A small amount of nitrogen may be added to the pile to feed the tiny organisms.

Two points to highlight here – Too much nitrogen can kill microbes, so please avoid putting excessive nitrogen. Secondly, you should refrain from putting too much water as that will result in inadequate air in the pile.

3. Beneficial Micro-organisms
What is the most effective compost maker in your compost pile? The answer is Bacteria.  Similar to the frontline soldiers, bacteria is the first to break down plant tissues, followed by fungi and protozoan, which helps with the subsequent processes. The arthropods, such as millipedes, centipedes, beetles, and worms, add on the finishing touch to complete the composting.

In my next post, I will touch on the remaining factors in mastering the art of composting. Meanwhile, you can start looking around your home to identify the materials to make your quality compost.

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