BENEFITS OF COMPOST
How would you like to make compost, natural fertilizer, to recycle the food, branches, leaves, and tree parts that went to the land?
Compost is a natural fertilizer obtained by decomposing and grinding some edible wastes, tree, branch, leaf parts. Rotting usually has a negative meaning, but when it comes to compost, rotting means reliving it. With this fertilizer, the soil you use while growing vegetables, fruits, or flowers is enriched; it becomes easier for the soil to be well ventilated and processed.
Composting may sound complicated. However, it is an easy process as long as you pay attention to a few tricks. All you have to do is a little gardening. Compost can become an indispensable part of daily life, such as garbage, and a lifestyle where you constantly evaluate the waste from the kitchen.
First of all, if you have a garden, decide where you want to set up the compost. Let this be a semi-sunny area that is easily accessible from the house, where you can move around comfortably. You can start with just one compost, but keep plenty of room for a few compost bins in case you can grow it over time. You don’t necessarily need a garden to make compost; You can also place it on the balcony. Ready-made compost bins are on sale, but it’s also easy to make at home. Drill some holes in an oversized bucket or trash can. To prevent flies and insects from entering, you can tighten flywire inside the hive and close the holes from the inside.
When making compost, two kinds of materials are used, one green and the other brown. Green materials providing nitrogen, vegetable and fruit waste, fresh herbs, green leaves, tea waste, eggshells; brown materials, on the other hand, can consist of branches and bark, nutshells, sawdust, dry leaves, pine needles, straw, and stems. Generally, a ratio of half to half is preferred in compost. It is also necessary to use freshly cut grass and water to accelerate the rotting.
There are two types of compost: cold and hot. Cold compost is the easier and less risky method. Hot compost can be much quicker but also prone to errors. The logic in both is to stack the green and brown materials in the right proportion and ensure that they rot correctly. It can take up to a year to make cold compost. Hot compost is formed in a month or so.
How is it done?
Maintaining moisture and air balance is essential for a healthy compost. That’s why you need to mix and air it as often as three days to a week. To mix the fertilizer easily, choose the place where you place it correctly, and be comfortable to move around. Using a shovel, mix the outer parts of the pile in the compost and the inner parts out. To maintain the moisture balance, if the mixture dries, you can wet it a little or add green material. If it is too juicy, add brown material. The right compost should have the consistency of a damp sponge.
You need time to make cold compost because it can take at least six months. This time may vary depending on the climatic conditions, the type and amount of materials you use. For example, in cold weather, the composting process slows down. Continuously add the green and brown ingredients you want to use for cold compost. When the box is full of them, wait for them to compost. The trick is to cover them entirely with a carbon-containing material such as wood shavings, straw, dry leaves every time you add ingredients. In this way, your compost will not fly, and you will prevent the formation of unpleasant odors.
Hot compost is a quick method, but you may need a process of trial and error for the right result. For this type of compost, you first need a place of 1 cubic meter and a thermometer. Before you start the compost, make sure that all the green and brown ingredients are shredded and at hand. Sprinkle a shovelful of previously left compost or soil at the bottom of the bucket. Then place the ingredients on top of each other in 10-15 cm thick layers, one layer of brown and one layer of green. Add accelerator materials like rock dust, coal, and water in between.
The hot compost goes up to 49-77 degrees for the first few days and then goes below 43 degrees. At this point, it is necessary to mix and add oxygen. With mixing, the temperature of the compost increases again, and after a few days, it drops again below 43 degrees. If the compost is not warm enough while making hot compost, the nitrogen amount may be insufficient. In this case, you can add green material. If it gets too hot, the amount of nitrogen is too high. In this case, you can turn it more often and add carbon-containing material. If you mix and wait about four times at the end of a month, you will see a dark-colored compost with the consistency you want. The temperature of the compost is now below 29 degrees, and it is ready for use after resting for two weeks.
What should we pay attention to?
Some ingredients should not enter the compost. These are leftover greasy food, seed-free herbs, tea and coffee bags, and of course plastics and things like processed paper or cleaning materials that we don’t want to see in the soil. Especially in cold compost, animal products such as meat, fish, milk, and citrus fruits should not be allowed.
The moisture content of the compost should be like a damp sponge. If you add too much water, the microorganisms will suffocate and die. Compost does not form from the materials; they just rot. You can measure the temperature with a thermometer, or you can check the middle with your hand. The compost you touch should be warm.
When your compost stops giving off heat and becomes insect-free, fragrant, grain-like chocolate cake, it is ready. You can add it to the soil of your flowers, fruit, and vegetables in your garden.