How to properly lay out and implement compost

Compost is often referred to as “the gardener’s gold”. It saves fertilizer, utilizes garden and some kitchen scraps sensibly and provides valuable replenishment of humus soil almost all by itself. Gardeners only have to help a little so that a compost does not become a pure pile of waste.

Thermal composter and other systems

If you choose a compost system made of wooden slats, you may have to replace individual boards or even the entire silo after a few years, as the wood will gradually rot. This cannot happen with a composter made of metal grids. In a large garden, it makes sense to set up three containers from the start, between which you can shift back and forth.

The optimal size of each composter is about one cubic meter. So the implementation does not become an unnecessary effort. Plastic thermal posters are not everyone’s taste, but they also fit in small gardens. In addition, the compost ripens faster due to the higher heat development. To prevent rot, some dry branches or twigs should always be mixed in.

Location is crucial

The composting site should neither be in the blazing sun nor in total shade. To avoid drying out or rotting, it is advisable to place it in partial shade – preferably behind the gazebo, in the protection of a hedge or under a tall, leafy tree. Since a good compost heap always needs enough fresh air, the place should be sheltered from the wind, but not completely windless. At least 50 centimeters from the property boundary avoid unnecessary discussions with the neighbor.

What can be on the compost?

Coffee filter bags
Vegetable and fruit waste
Straw and litter
Egg shells
Lawn, shrub and tree pruning

What is not allowed on the compost?

Non-vegetable leftovers
Citrus fruits
diseased parts of plants
cat litter

The general rule is: diversity matters. Layers of only one component that are taller than 20 centimeters hinder the composting process. The leaves of oak and walnut rot very slowly and should therefore not be put on the compost.

Shredding ensures small wood

In the daily garden business, there are a lot of herbaceous flower or shrub sections, twigs, small branches, bouquets and the like. If you throw this material on the compost without crushing it, it will pile up and it will take years for it to rot. With a shredder or chopper, the volume is reduced and the compost can be used much faster. Alternatively, you can spread the chopped material under trees and shrubs and mulch the soil.

Advantages of good compost

Good ripening compost promotes a stable soil structure and reduces the risk of erosion. It promotes soil life and thus soil fertility, improves the ventilation of the soil and increases its water retention capacity. Plants enjoy the nutrients and trace elements they contain, and they also become more resistant to pests and diseases. Maturing compost is therefore perfect as a fertilizer and soil conditioner. For use in window boxes or potted plants, at least half of the compost is mixed with other components, such as potting soil from the previous year.

Implement compost regularly

After about three months, it is advisable to implement the half-rotted waste. They are either shifted in the same container or transferred to another container. The implementation promotes the important ventilation of the compost heap and also significantly reduces its volume. The freshly converted compost reaches maturity after an average of seven months. Most of the components are now well decomposed, the dark humus smells of forest soil.

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