Making compost is an art and a science – and if you think it is not, ask around and learn how many trials-and-misses your friends and neighbors went through before achieving the desired outcomes. Many people prefer our lawn care Apex NC experts to come down and offer complete compost topsoil services, thus having lush and healthy properties with no efforts. On the other hand, since not many people know what compost is and how it is made, our specialists decided to offer you today a crash course in compost making. Make sure you pick an isolated spot way back in the garden to build your compost pile, as the stench might not be comfortable.
1. Collect and Add Brown Material
Contrary to popular belief, compost is not just a pile of decaying food leftovers and grass clippings. The first step in making compost is the collection of brown materials – vegetal debris rich in carbon. You can start with dry leaves and twigs, coffee grounds, wood chips, wood ash, cardboard, used paper (make sure it is not glossy), dry weeds, dry fruit peels and so on. Carbon is the substance that energizes the bacteria, worms, fungi and rotifers that will turn the compost ingredients in the nutritious mush you use in the garden. It is the carbon that absorbs the excess moisture and keeps the air in the pile flowing.
2. Collect and Add Green Material
Green material represents freshly clipped grass blades, fresh fruit peels, vegetable leftovers, food leftovers, weeds (make sure they don’t have seeds that spread back into your landscape), manure, boiled tea bags, seaweed, and so on. All these greens contain an essential ingredient of compost: nitrogen. It is responsible for the creation of nutrients and proteins.
Never add to the compost the following products: meat and fish scrapes and leftovers, dairy products, cooking oil, pet waste or pet food, coal, seedy weeds or dead / diseased plants, flowers or vegetables.
Your compost pile should now contain both brown and green materials. Keep in mind, however, that the pile should contain 25 times more browns than greens.
3. Stirred, not Shaken
The third ingredient of your compost should be oxygen in order to turn your pile of leftovers into healthy, nutritious humus. Too much oxygen dries the compost, making it inefficient. Too little oxygen kills the bacteria and rotifers doing their job, turning the pile into a useless pile of rotting, smelling garbage. You need to regularly aerate your compost pile with a shovel or a pitchfork.
4. Water is Essential
As we said, dry compost is useless, while drenched compost won’t help you much either. Our lawn care Apex NC experts say you should keep a 40-60% water level of the compost at all times for best results. Don’t count on rain to do the job for you. However, if the compost seems to be too wet, add some green materials to it to restore the balance.
If you are not convinced you want to make your own compost, ask your local lawn care Apex NC experts to prep the soil for you. Compost needs a lot of work and many errors before success, but if you are ambitious enough you can create it in your own back yard.