Treating clay soilCompost is actually a soil conditioner, mulch and fertilizer, all in one. It helps the soil regain microorganisms that help plants grow. Also it adds nutrients to the soil and help clay soil to drain better and sandy soil to retain more water.
- First, choose a place that is near your garden and kitchen, but it is hidden from sight.
- You may want a bin to deposit the waste and compost – if you want to be really hidden from sight. You may also build a simple wire column made from stiff wire mesh.
- You can also buy a three-bin system. These are very ingenious. Let on side of them opened so you can add more waste when necessary. Cover the top of the bins to prevent any extra water from getting in. This system allows you to move the compost from one bin to another. It’s like levels. The last one will have the finished compost.
- The two basic elements of compost are: green garden debris (grass) and brown garden debris (dry leaves). Grass is very high in nitrogen and dried leaves in carbon. Don’t add any animal waste, oils,meats, dairy, weeds that have gone to seed, diseased plants,or plants treated with pesticides or herbicides.
- To achieve a balance for the compost, it’s best to have one part of green debris and two parts of brown waste. This means one fork of grass and two of leaves. Be sure to mix them well and make a pile of at least 3 cubic feet. This way the compost will be ready faster.
- To get the microbial process start even faster, add a shovel of finished compost.
- For the compost to form, the right amount of moisture needs to be achieved. To have the right moisture level, a compost should feel like a damp, wrung-out sponge. If the moisture level is too high, then the temperature will fall and it will make the pile smell. If the moisture it too low, then the process will take longer. Check the moisture level of the pile every now and then and add water if necessary.
- Be sure to turn the pile once a week. This prevent it from stacking, which reduces the airflow, and thus slowing the process.
- The compost should be finished in about two months. You will know that it’s ready when the original parts can’t be identified and when it stops heating. It should have a dark brown color and should smell like earth.
- Now here are some things you need to have in mind. If the compost is healthy, it will have an earthly smell. If it has a funky smell, then add more brown debris. Add some inoculants to help the process start faster. Add water into the pile only in extended dry weather. Don’t drench it, just moisten it. Do not use for compost animal waste, oils, meats,diseased plants or plants treated with weed killers.