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Fertilizing the soil is an important requirement of agricultural technology of any plant, and compost is considered one of the main components for applying to the soil. Today we will learn how to make it at the cottage on our own.
Many summer residents have long been making compost with their own hands, because this not only saves time and money, but also eliminates a lot of unnecessary worries, which are already enough at the summer cottage.
Why is it useful to make compost in the country
- Compost is considered one of the best fertilizers, which, when introduced into the soil, fills it with a huge amount of trace elements.
- Compost is the cheapest and most practical means for the proper structuring of the soil, as it increases moisture conservation and creates the necessary loosening for all plants.
- If you spread compost over the surface of the soil, you can create the best organic mulch, which will save moisture and inhibit the growth of many weeds on the site.
- Composting in the country is a very useful process, as well as a significant contribution to the development and protection of the environment. Not one mineral fertilizer can be compared with high-quality compost, and a properly formed pit in which organic components decay can become a real incubator of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms.
- Composting significantly reduces your physical effort, since now you do not need to take a good part of the garbage from the territory of the summer cottage, everything can just be placed in a special pit.
What is garden compost
Compost is a specific product obtained from organic debris under the influence of the environment and a huge variety of insects and microorganisms. It is used for structuring the soil, mulching, fertilizer.
The bark and branches of trees, stems and leaves of plants - all this can be folded in a certain order in a special pit or just in a heap, provide conditions for decay and processing, and get a high-quality, truly environmentally friendly product without any harmful and toxic compounds. Naturally, the process of decomposition of all organic residues will make you seriously wait, maybe even a few years, but then you will get real quality, and not a mixture from the store prepared on the basis of unknown components.
How to make compost
Professionals know how to make compost in a fast and slow way. They are also called cold and hot.
Before proceeding to the consideration of “recipes,” we would like to talk about building the right compost tank or pit.
How to make a compost box?
So, initially we need to prepare the material for the production of compost box in size. To do this, practically any board, or plank, that is not rotten and has not previously been in contact with toxic materials, is suitable. In the first case, during the biological process, rotten planks can deteriorate, in the second case, boards in paint or oil can simply poison the compost, ruining its quality irreversibly.
We would advise you to take unedged pine in boards or beams, so that the finished box lasts for many years, and work with this material. So you will make quality capacity, but do not spend a lot of money.
Now we select a place and begin construction. On a hill or on a flat ground, it doesn’t really matter if the terrain is not rainy and the water level is low. In general, it is advisable to place the place under the compost slightly higher than the standard soil level so that it does not wash out. So, we create four sides of the box, like a standard vegetable, but much larger.
Be sure to observe the gaps between the planks to ensure that the compost is ventilated for the correctness of internal biological processes.
At the place of collection of the box we install supports, we attach three finished walls from a pine board or timber to the supports. We leave the last side removable, so that it is convenient for us to get the finished product for fertilizing or mulching the soil in the country.
It is advisable to lay any material, for example, old linoleum, at the bottom of the box or, as they say, a compost pit.
How to make the right compost fast?
How to make compost in a quick way? This question is of interest to many beginners of the summer cottage business, and therefore, we proceed to it without delay.
First of all, we create a special tank - a skeleton that will restrain all organic residues entering the compost on a single heap. It can be just a hole fenced with wooden structures, a special wooden or plastic box in which there will be ventilation and access to the contents from above or from the side.
We create drainage at the bottom of the tank. You can make it from a layer of hay, straw, lapnik. The layer should be about 10 cm.
Materials and various composting products are layered. For example, you can immediately put branches and other fruit waste, then a layer of paper, the next layer of leaves, then, a layer of beveled annuals or grass, and so on. It is important that the layers alternate approximately as follows, dry waste with wet, soft with solid. Such a method of laying will provide air access, ventilation, acceleration of the composting process. In this case, it must be remembered that the seal is useless here, and may even hurt.
It is required to lay each layer with special process accelerators, for example, nitrogen additives, which are offered in garden shops, manure of herbivores, plants such as legumes, nettle, dandelion, and yarrow. You can use rotted manure or ordinary garden soil.
To maintain the temperature and the correct internal environment, it is necessary to cover the compost storage with special materials - oilcloth, old rags, a piece of linoleum or carpet. The main thing is to keep warm inside.
Sometimes, about once or twice a month, it is recommended to turn the compost layers inside the storehouse to loosen the contents and establish processes that could stop due to lack of ventilation.
In summer, when there is a drought on the street, compost can be spilled a little in order to maintain the desired humidity inside the store. But remember, only spill, not fill to the top.
If you feel specific aromas from the compost bin, this may mean that the cooking process has failed and is not working properly. If it smells like ammonia - there are too many nitrogen components in the pit (you can correct the situation by adding a certain amount of torn paper). If you smell rotten eggs, it means that there is not enough oxygen in the pit or crate, and the contents must be well stirred by sprinkling layers with straw or wood shavings.
If you manage to make the container correctly and fill it with even layers, after a few months the compost will be ready. It is better to choose it from the lower layers, so that the upper ones evenly descend, pressing on top of new organic residues.
How to make compost in a slow way?
How to make compost from grass or branches? How to get the most correct and high-quality product? Naturally, this method is a little more complicated, or rather, longer, but as a result you will get very high quality compost.
By and large, you don’t have to do anything especially, just prepare everything for decaying once and wait several years. By the way, this way you can install a new compost pit in the corner of the site every year, so that in 2-3 years you can reach constant annual volumes.
So, how do you make compost with your own hands?
If in a quick way you can make compost in a barrel, then for a slow, cold method, you need an ordinary hole on a certain elevation of the site. The pit delves into a small one, roughly on the bayonet of a shovel, but wide so that enough branches and logs can be placed in it for composting. Then, inside the pit, broken branches and arrows of trees, trimmed pieces and rotten logs are crushed. Our whole pile is covered with soil from above and forgotten for a long time. In the second year, if you are very lucky, or in the third, which is stable with proper preparation, you will receive a notable fertilizer for the garden.
Choosing from the methods of fertilizer preparation, many choose fast, and it’s not even worth anyone explaining the reason. But now I want to say not about the method, but about what should fall into the compost pit and what should not.
What can you make compost from
If you want to make high quality compost and save time, throw only the following into the place of decay:
- Kitchen waste (fruits, vegetables, cereals, tea leaves, coffee grounds);
- Straw, hay, shavings, sawdust, mowed grass;
- Thin branches and stems of garden bushes and trees;
- Recycled wood after a garden shredder;
- Overripe animal manure;
- Rotted leaves and other garden waste;
- A variety of algae;
- Other natural materials - fabric and paper;
- Shredded weeds (avoiding rhizome weeds).
What you can not make compost from
During the preparation of the fertilizer, it is also necessary to remember what should not be placed in compost storage:
- Bones, large and hard, waste of poultry, meat, fish, litter of domestic animals;
- Fresh leaves, rhizome and perennial weeds;
- Plants or debris infected with diseases or pests;
- Fresh manure, which can only be added to slow-growing compost;
- Waste from the garden that contains toxins, poisons, herbicides and so on;
- Unnecessary garbage - metal, glass, rubber, plastic, polyethylene, etc.
How to make compost (video)
Following the simplest rules and advice of experienced summer residents who have been preparing a useful “potion” for their garden for several years, you can make compost in the country with your own hands very simply and immediately begin to fertilize the soil to improve the quality of crops.