Composting DOs and DON’Ts: Making the Perfect Organic PileAugust 29, 2019
Last modified: October 15, 2019Environmentally-conscious and keen gardeners across the UK use proper composting as a way to cut down waste and boost their plant's nutrient intake.
Creating your compost is both practical and eco-friendly. Instead of spending a fortune on expensive bags of organic compost, mixing your own hardly costs any and it helps the environment thrive by reducing transportation and plastic requirements.
However, composting is not as easy as one, two, three. Aside from knowing how to build your compost heap and coming up with the best recipe, you also need to apply the best practices to maximise your pile’s potential.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Efficient Composting
Environmentally-conscious homeowners and keen gardeners across the UK use composting as a way to cut down waste and boost their plant’s nutrient intake.
If you want to be one of them or have been into composting for a while now, our garden experts have created a list of the things you should and should not be doing to your pile.
Use as many fruits and veggies as possible
In creating the perfect compost recipe, variety and quantity are both crucial elements. So, make sure to include a range of nutritious kitchen scrap into the pile to provide all the best nutrients to your plants.
Always add nutritious leftovers such as fruits and vegetables into your compost to maximise its potential.
Remember none-food items
Organic wastes that can be found in your garden are some of the most essential items you can add on your pile. So, collect some leaves, grass clippings, or dead plants and flowers to include in your compost recipe.
They degrade quickly and contain a lot of nutrients that will surely provide your garden with the extra boost it needs.
Moisturise the pile
Moisture aids decomposition so it would be a great idea to occasionally add a little water on your pile to encourage the process. However, your organic waste should be damp but not soggy.
Turn it often
Similar to the process of cooking, the ingredients of your compost pile should be mixed thoroughly. Do so by regularly stirring your pile using a garden fork.
It will encourage proper aeration as well as spread out the nutrients evenly throughout the pile.
Use animal products
Aside from not decomposing quickly, meat, fish dairy products, or bones could attract unwanted animals such as rodents into your garden. Do not add them to your backyard compost to avoid these issues.
Leave it uncovered
Uncovered compost could bring a lot of problems: blowing in unwanted ingredients, pets or wild animals tampering with it, the weather ruining the balance of its components, and resulting in a stinky backyard. So, make sure to keep your covered heap after adding anything.
Opposite to turning the mix, leaving compact layers of compost restricts airflow. It then results in under-composted waste due to lack of air that’s crucial in breaking the pile down into a nutritious pile.
To avoid this, break thick layers of grass or heavy items before including them in a pile using a garden fork. Then, moisturise and re-mix your compost.
Add pet faeces
Cat litter, dog poo, bird droppings, and other animal waste may contain a lot of nutrients and can easily break down into compost, but they are also filled with nasty bacteria. These germs can harm your garden and plants if you include animal faeces in your pile, so don’t be tempted to do so.