What is Compost: Black Gold?




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What is 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 overlooked 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 is Compost?

Compost simply means decayed organic material used as a plant fertilizer. Compost is broken down material such as leaves, shredded twigs, garden waste, and veggie scraps from the kitchen that turns into the soil and then is used to feed gardens.

What are 5 benefits of composting??

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 lifeblood that fuels any garden.  With all of this talk about black gold, supercharging, and changing lives you may find yourself asking.

Here are 5 Benefits to Composting

  1. Adds nutrients to the soil. Compost is nutrient-rich soil. When compost is placed on top of existing soil, it adds nutrients like carbon and nitrogen which plants use for growth and photosynthesis while also helping retain water for plant usage.
  2. Introduces valuable organisms to the soil. The role of microorganisms in organic decomposition is important because they aerate the soil, convert nitrogen to a usable form and repel certain plant diseases.
  3. Recycles kitchen and yard waste. Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of trash in your home. It keeps as much as 30% of waste from going into the garbage can, saving you money on both bags and frequency for taking out rubbish.
  4. Reduces landfill waste. The decomposition of organic material in a landfill is slower than many people think. This means that the nutrients produced are wasted, which could be used to help plants grow and produce clean water for everyone to drink!
  5. Good for the environment! Composting is a great way to grow healthy plants and has many health benefits. By composting, you are not relying on factory-made fertilizers and chemicals which can have negative effects on your body as well as the planet’s ecosystem.
Also Read:  Is Potting Soil Safe To Play In? 5 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe

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 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 break 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.

Start Composting

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 vermicomposting; 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.

Also Read:  Double Digging

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.

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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 break down evenly.  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 to 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.

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Just start already.

We should be composting to feed their gardens but also to help reduce the amount of waste going into local landfills. 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.

Compost FAQs

Below is a list of common compost questions with answers to help you fully understand compost and its uses:

Does Compost turn into Soil?

Compost is something that you add to the soil to amend it and feed the beneficial microbes. Compost is mixed into the topsoil or put directly on top of the garden to add some nutrients to the existing soil. Compost is made of rotted organic material, while soil contains other substances as well, like minerals and rock particles.

What is an example of Compost?

Compost is the finished product when organic material breaks down over time. For example, if you take mulched fall leaves with spent coffee grounds and allow them to cook over the course of a couple of months you will end up with some of the best compost available. Things like grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds, veggie scraps, and more can be used to make compost.

Also Read:  How to Amend Clay Soil

Can you put bread in Compost?

Yes, you can put bread in the compost bin as it will break down like most other organic items. The main reason most people choose not to compost bread as it will likely attract rodents or other vermin to your compost pile which can be a pain.

Can you Compost banana peels?

Yes, you can compost banana peels by adding them to your compost bin or pile. Banana peels are a great compost ingredient to add to your compost bin. It is best that you chopped them up first because putting them in whole will take a lot longer to break down.

Is coffee grounds good for Composting?

Yes, used or spent coffee grounds are great for compost as they are an excellent source of nitrogen and have a neutral ph balance of between 6.5-6.8. A mixture of mulched fall leaves and spent coffee grounds layered together into a pile will make some of the best compost that you can get for your garden.

Can Cooked Rice Go Into the Compost?

When cooked rice is added to a compost pile, it will decompose. As with other types of food, steamed or boiled cooked rice goes through the same rotting and molding stages as others when in the process of decay.

Should I pee in my Compost?

Composting urine is a great way to get more nitrogen into your compost bed. It’s very high in nitrogen, so it counts as a “green” and shouldn’t be added to the bin if there are already many food scraps around. There are other ways of adding nitrogen-rich sources into your compost pile if you cannot bring yourself to peeing on your compost pile.

Can I put apple core in Compost?

Yes, you can put apple cores into the compost pile and they break down just like any other ingredient. Things like apple cores, banana peels, and even potato skins will break down quicker if you choose to chop them up before adding them to your compost pile.

Can orange peel be composted?

Yes, orange peels and other citrus peels can be added to your compost pile. They are a great ingredient to add to your compost pile as they will add things like phosphorus, nitrogen, and even potassium to your compost. It is a great idea to mix and match your compost ingredients to create a more well-rounded compost to add to your garden.

In Conclusion

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 footprint 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.

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Hi, I’m John.

John grew up on a farm where his family raised chickens, goats, rabbits, and grew a huge garden. John has a family of his own and gardens to know where his food comes from. Learn more..