Composting is one of the easiest do-it-yourself ways to fertilize your plants while recycling plant matter at the same time. Virtually any plant can be made into compost, and the only two things you’ll need are a little bit of space and time. That’s it! If you have those two things, you can make compost, affectionately called black gold by gardeners everywhere, and give your garden and potted plants a nutrient-rich soil addition that will help them thrive.
What is Compost?
Any plant eventually dies and deteriorates, putting nutrients back into the soil. It may take years for this process to occur in the wild, but composting speeds up the process of breaking down the plants much quicker. Some of the fastest composers on the market can give you compost in as little as six weeks, although you’ll need additives and a little bit of elbow grease to achieve this type of speed. But if you adhere to the basics, with little or no work involved, you could get usable compost in about six months, depending on where you live.
Virtually any spot on your property can serve as a mulch pile, which is a fancy way of saying a pile of all your home, lawn, and garden plant matter. Make a pile, which can include anything from lawn clippings, pulled weeds, potato peels, lettuce gone brown, eggshells, dead flowers, carrot tops, greens, and whatever plant material you would normally discard into your trash. As long as it is plant-based, it will turn into compost. But beware, don’t throw bones or scraps of meat in the pile. Flesh must be composted differently. Plus, the smell will attract critters that will dig up and scatter your mulch pile around. So, add plant waste only.
If you want to stop there, you’re fine. You’ll get usable compost in 6 months to a year. You don’t have to do anything else, just let time take over.
Speeding up the Process
There is something you can do to speed up the process for those who don’t want to wait that long. Speeding up means making a little compost pen to keep anything from blowing away. Turn the compost pile once per week with a shovel or pitchfork, and keep it moist. You’ll trap in more heat if you cover the pile with black plastic or a black tarp. Heat makes all of the composting nematodes, fungi, and bugs work faster to break down the plant material, turning it into black gold. Doing this alone may cut the time in half before your compost is ready to use. This little extra work will make a noticeable difference.
Speeding up the Process More
If you need compost in a hurry, many aftermarket devices and additives will jump-start your compost pile, and there isn’t much extra work involved either. For instance, one of the most popular compost makers is a rotating barrel. Simply load it up, turn/spin it weekly, and in about ten weeks you’ll have compost. Quicker still are compost starter powders. They are organic, put a scoopful in the barrel when it is full, and it goes to work quickly breaking down plant fibers, and giving you compost in about six weeks or so. These are under ideal conditions, but remember that your composting will greatly slow down in the early spring and fall and virtually stop during the winter months in the cooler northern climates.
Your Garden Plants Will Show You Love
Giving your garden plants fresh compost is one of the best things to provide easily absorbed nutrients that all plants can use. Mix it in the soil, use it as a top coat, or make a slurry to water your plants with it. There’s a reason it is called black gold, and during harvest time, your garden plants will show their love with a bounty of fruits and vegetables. And that’s what compost is all about.
Get The Rest Of Your Patio, Deck, and Walkways Ready For The Season!
Dirt, mold, mildew, cobwebs, and other stains negatively impact the appearance of your home, driveway, patio, outdoor furniture, deck, pavers, and walkways. Look to the professionals for all of your pressure washing needs. With extensive training and low-pressure nozzles, Squeegee Squad’s professional cleaners can remove these unsightly stains without damaging delicate surfaces like stucco and painted facades. While you enjoy your gardens this season, entertain guests, and BBQ, you’ll have a clean surface you can be proud of. We can clean a wide variety of organic and chemical stains through environmentally friendly cleaners, the appropriate pressure washing techniques, and the proper application of the solution.