Ripe compost is the ideal prerequisite for a perfect garden. But what is important when it comes to composting? We give helpful tips!
Compost is a practical thing: its nutrients flow slowly and make for blooming roses and large heads of cabbage. The microfauna activates the soil life, and the humus improves the air and water balance of the earth. Read our tips for success here.
- The right mix for the compost
As a rule of thumb, everything organic is allowed on the compost. Except cooked leftovers, meat and bones – they would attract vermin. Shrub cuttings and plant residues are chopped up, mixed with lawn cuttings, vegetable waste, old flowers, weeds, fruit residues, old potting soil and coffee grounds.
- The right place for the compost
The compost rots best in the shade of trees. Usually at the end of the property – but easily accessible – you set up the site. You need enough space for moving and sifting. Privet hedges offer rapidly growing privacy protection towards the house and terrace.
- Compost: the right dose
Ripe compost has a mild effect and, unlike mineral fertilizers, cannot burn perennials, vegetables or roses. Finely sifted, you count one bucket per square meter of garden. Dates: End of March for all areas, June or August for top dressing in the vegetable patch.
- The trick with the foil
Even couch grass and groundgrass can be composted if you bring an overgrown garden back into shape. The composter is piled up in the sun and covered over the summer months with black foil: weed seeds and root remains die off from the heat.
- Compost starter
You only need the expensive help at the beginning. It is better to always keep some of the finished compost and sprinkle it centimeter thick over every 30 cm thick new layer. This inoculates the location with the necessary bacteria and sets the important rotting process in motion much faster.
Insulated compost bins made of plastic guarantee the rotting process even on cold days. After a few months, the finished humus can be removed through the large bottom flap, but on large plots or tall trees they quickly reach the limits of their capacity.
- Do-it-yourself compost
Compost containers made of impregnated softwood or wickerwork made of willow or hazel can be made in attractive shapes. The classic is a 3-part brick-built system made of clinker. Every three months the compost is shoveled into the next section, the rotting is accelerated, and everything stays tidy. Here you can find out how to build a compost sieve yourself.
- Important: C / N ratio
The balance between carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) guarantees good rotting. Autumn shredded masses from pruning or the fallen leaves are rich in C, but bacteria need a lot of N for their reproduction. That’s why you sprinkle a handful of fine horn meal on every 30 cm thick layer.