Compost: Black Gold?
In our world today we have many different opportunities to go green. We can use solar energy to power our homes, drive a hybrid car, reuse old things and live in small houses. One of the most over-looked ways to go green is the practice of composting.
Composting is a way to produce useful resources from waste. You can do it in small amounts, which will change your life, or you could do it in large amounts and change the city.
What can compost do?
A good quality compost can increase your yields, feed your soil with beneficial microbes and supercharge your garden. For any gardener, urban farmer, homesteader; compost is the life blood that fuels any garden. With all of this talk about black gold, supercharging and changing lives you may find yourself asking, what is compost?
What is compost?
Compost simply means decayed organic material used as a plant fertilizer. Compost is broken down waste that turns into soil and then is used to feed gardens.
The importance of Compost
There is nothing more important to a gardener than compost. As a matter of fact, compost is thought to be the black gold that makes the garden grow good because it feeds the soil with nutrients and microorganisms. When plants grow, they take up all of the resources from inside the soil.
Think about it like this: you work in an office and make copies throughout the day. You go into the copy room and there is no paper to use because nobody has re-stocked it since the last person.
If no one replaces the nutrients, the next planting will not have enough to thrive. We can replace the nutrients by adding that homemade compost to our soil.
How can I start composting?
The earth naturally does this process itself in forests across the globe. In the fall, leaves change colors and then fall to the ground. Layers upon layers of leaves rest on top of the soil and breaks down over the winter making food for the trees.
This topsoil compost found in forests is called humus. It helps trees grow by adding mulch around them, and it also provides food for the microorganisms that live there in the soil.
Gardening methods that use a similar technique
We have started using this in our growing techniques because it works so well. The Back to Eden and Hügelkultur methods both use a similar concept of building soil by layering organic material that slowly breaks down.
Can we mimic mother earth?
Can we simulate this in our homes and gardens? Yes, absolutely! I believe every home should be composting in order to give back to their piece of earth.
Composting is easier than it seems because there are several ways to compost and products to help you. The way you choose to compost is up to you. It will help your garden. The method you choose will also depend on the resources you have available; the space you have to devote, how much and what type of waste you produce.
The different types of composting
The different types of composting are hot, cold, indoor, outdoor and vermi-composting; however no matter what method you choose they all have the same basic principle. For the purpose of this article we will look at the “lasagna” method of composting.
How to Compost
Composting is the process by which organic materials are allowed to decay and break down, creating nutrient rich black gold for your garden. This transformation needs four things: nitrogen-rich material (greens), carbon-rich material (browns), water, and oxygen in order to properly happen.
Making your own compost is important for the garden. You need to find the right balance of ingredients and then you will make good compost that can help the garden grow.
There are a few things that you can put in your compost pile. You can put leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps from your home.
The easiest method
You can start composting by using the lasagna method. Start a pile with layers of nitrogen-rich materials, then carbon-rich ones. Layer them well and wet each layer with water and some soil.
You need water and other things in order to make compost. When you mix the water with the other ingredients, it will heat up and start to decompose. You want to make sure to turn it every couple of weeks so that the pile can evenly break down. Making good quality compost can take anywhere from 2-12 months. It depends on how frequently you can turn it.
That is the beauty of compost, you do not have grow vegetables to be able to use it. Compost is a good idea to use when you plant flowers, fruit trees or even plants inside your house. Compost will add nutrients to the ground and help them grow better.
Use what you have
The great thing about compost is that it can be completely made from as little or as much as you have. It can even be made from completely free local ingredients such as leaves that were collected by your neighbors that have been set out to the trash, grass clippings from your yard and even free used coffee grounds from local shops.
You can make compost for free and then use it to fertilize your garden. You will have a better harvest because the soil is so rich.
Just start already.
We should be composting to feed their gardens but also to help reduce the amount of waste going into local landfills. With the availability of products to make composting easy in addition to the ingredients to make awesome compost even easier to find makes composting something that anyone can do.
Composting is a great way to give back to our little piece of earth. If we are successful with our efforts to reduce our global foot print then we are working toward a future for children and grandchildren to be able to grow their own food as well. Help out by doing your part to make the world a better place for future generations.
If you like this article, please share it on social media and with friends. For all the latest recipes, container gardening tips and growing guides subscribe to our newsletter in sidebar.