Friday, June 6, 2008

healthy compost

june 6 2008

When we moved in here, more than 20 years ago, one of the plans was making compost for my own garden.

And I went for it.

The first years I had to trow everything out of the huge container each year, because we threw everything in it which we thought would rot away.
But not everything belongs in a compost container or compost heap.

No meat. I've learned that, and not much leftovers from citrusfruit.

During the years the compost improved so much, that often I would find the bottomlid somewhere on the gardenpath and a large amount of compost stolen.

Yep, people robbed my compost in the early morning or during the night.
Unbelievable!!!

Want to know my compost secret?

Start out with some loose large stones on the bottom. To enable air to get in.
On the stones broken twigs and branches.

Most containers have a lid in the front at the bottom.

Get the level of the twigs and branches up till there, and put the longer twigs and branches in such a way that you can pull them out.

That way you can stir the compost from beneath and allow the ready compost to drop down.

I have a pile of twigs and broken branches beside the compostcontainer.
They are great to keep the compost open and aired.

Compost should be made in layers.

When you throw in too many leaves at once they get one thick sticky stinking layer, covered in mold.

So use other material in between, and keep it loose.

The best compost contains 2 parts of carbon on 1 part of nitrogen.

Carbon comes from hay, dried leaves, broken eggshells, branches, sawdust from unpainted wood, and even brown paper bags and ground coffee.

Nitrogen is produced from green leaves, grass, manure, left over fruit and vegetables.

As long as you keep the compost airy and mixed you can put everything in that breaks down, uncluding cotton fabric, for instance.

Stir the compost once in a while.

To get the process working, you can add "compost-support" from your dardening centre, or just add an amount of your own garden soil.

A bucket of hot water and then close the lid to let the warmth spread.
Never ever let the lot run dry, because that stops the process.

We've found out that making your own compost is fun.
Some people think it smells, but it doesn't at all.

I always keep some of the compost of a former year when I restart the whole lot in spring.

A year full of gardening and kitchenmaterial goes in the container, and I use it as a pleasant additive to the garden.

No need to tell my garden is the greenest in the whole neighbourhood. LOL!



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