What is Good for the Compost?
An eco-friendly lifestyle means recycling, reusing, as many things as possible. If you have a garden it’s almost obvious to have a composting pile or bin as well. What is good for the compost pile? Can we put certain things in the compost? How can we make it better? After many years of composting, I have realized, that even today I can find tips on the internet on how to improve our composting.
So I’ve decided to gather these home composting tips and tricks, maybe some new information will come your way as well.
Home composting tips & tricks
#1 - Ratio
THE GOOD RATIO for the perfect composting outcome is
1 part green – provides nitrogen
3 parts brown – provides carbon
Water – provides moisture for the decomposing process.
#2 - Mixing the compost pile
MIX AND TURN the compost pile on weekly basis, so all the ingredients can start interacting with each other. Plus, it helps to avoid odors.
However, don’t do it during the winter, because the pile has to keep the heat for itself.
#3 - Air is good for the compost
3, ADD HOLES to the sides of the compost near the bottom, so the compost pile can get lots of air. And don’t cover it up either – only if it doesn’t stop raining for many many days.
#4 - Have Some Poultry to Poke Around the Compost Pile
If you have barnyard birds, let them scratch and poke around in the compost. Are you thinking about having a barnyard, here is a PRO list that can help you make the decision? Barnyard birds give the pile air, fertilizer. In return, the birds get some worms, grubs, bugs, and other interesting findings out of it, which provide protein for them. Barnyard birds have lots of purposes around the house, helping with the compost is only one. There is a beautiful circle of life in a barnyard full of birds, check it out.
And do you know how many different types of birds you can have in the barnyard? And did you know that even though they have different sized and shaped eggs, they can all be used in the kitchen?
Alpaca manure can also help the compost pile. They are not as easy to keep as birds, but alpacas are the most eco-friendly animals, so you might want to think about having a couple.
#5 - Observ
When the compost pile is not degrading the way it should, get a shovel and dig in, CHECK THE INSIDE. If it’s too dry, add some water. If it’s too brown, go to your garden, pluck some weeds and add some green to it. Or, you can do some lawn mowing, which can help really fast as well.
#6 - Activate
6, ACTIVATORS are known to ease up the process. If you don’t want to buy them, use some poultry manure.
#7 - Slice & Dice
CHOP UP the stuff you put in, the smaller the better. It helps to decompose faster.
#8 - Duplicate
Have 2 compost bins next to each other. This way, you can do the turning and mix into one another. Makes it a lot easier.
#9 - Absolute no-nos to put in the compost pile
Don’t throw in any kinds of greasy, oily food, meats included. Citruses like orange, lime, or lemon are also bad for the compost, plus banana peels, and seeds of cherry, sour cherry, peach, and apricot, since these seeds contain cyan. Avoid any kinds of bread, pastry, dairy products, and the insides of eggs (eggshells however are very good, they can be reused and repurposed in many other ways).
Although some animals’ manure is good for the compost, avoid any pet feces.
#10 - What to do when the compost is ready?
Well, we didn’t duplicate the compost bin, so we actually had to dig the whole thing out of it. It was NOT a one-day job. It’s exhausting, of course, it depends on the size of the compost.
However, the end results were amazing, and quite frankly kind of unbelievable.
After we dug everything up, we mixed this composted soil with regular soil and started spreading it in the garden, using it to plant new flowers and veggies.
We did a lot of seedlings in the spring, so for those, as a bonus, we added some sand in the mix as well.
Composting Tip Bonus #11 - Urbanize
WANT TO COMPOST but don’t have a garden or do you live in the city? Check out my solution to have a compost bin in the city, and learn how to make one.
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