There is an art to composting. It’s not as simple as just throwing in scraps and turning it every week.
Great compost starts with a balance of two-thirds carbon (brown material) and one-third nitrogen (green material). The piles need to remain moist, though not too wet. They also should be turned every once in awhile to speed up the process.
Developing the best compost for gardening requires knowledge about what nutrients your plants need. Getting your soil tested is the best way to find out what items you should add to your compost pile. You can also study your plant’s leaves to see if it’s trying to tell you a certain nutrient is running low in the soil.
Learn how to make great compost that will replenish your garden and yard with the nutrients it needs to thrive by using our infographic below.
Composting is a natural process of organic materials decomposing, which then puts valuable nutrients back into the soil. Balanced compost will smell of sweet earth and have a rich dark brown color.
Here are a few tips when adding the ingredients above to make great compost:
If using manure, make sure you age it for at least six months before adding it to your garden.
Wood ash adds valuable nutrients like potassium, lime and other trace elements to your compost pile. Use it sparingly and sprinkle evenly on your compost pile to avoid clumping. Also, avoid adding the ashes if the wood was burned with charcoal as that would add chemical residue that is harmful to plants.
Activators are organic materials that are very high in nitrogen and therefore helps cook your compost faster. Activators include alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, soybean meal, blood meal, bone meal, and chicken manure. When adding activators to a compost pile, spread small amounts evenly on top. You can also use Ringer® Compost Plus Compost Starter as your activator to speed up the composting process.
Regardless of what material you add to your compost pile, make sure you shred everything before adding to allow for even cooking.