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Wonderful Compost
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:04

If you are new to gardening and you are looking for ways to better the growth of your plants in your garden then it is important to know the value of having compost.

Compost does so much more for your plants than you may realise, it binds the soil and helps it to hold water as well as air. These elements are essential for your plants growth. Here are a few tips on how to make your own compost heap and what to use as well as what not to use. When making a compost heap it isn’t difficult at all because you use the most organic materials that will rot or decay easily, this will make the best compost. You can use anything from garden waist such as grass cuttings and dead flowers. You could also use items from your home such as vegetable and fruit peelings, cooked table scraps, tea leaves, tea bags, egg shells and stale bread. You could also use paper, cardboard, sawdust, wood shavings, animal manure, wood fire ash and seaweed. There are a few items that wouldn’t be good to use for a compost heap. These items include anything that does not rot such as metals, glass and different kinds of plastic. Do not use garden waist that has been sprayed with pesticide, toilet or septic tank waist. Do not use diseased animal carcasses or even meat scraps as this will attract unwanted rodents such as rats and mice. Don’t use potato peels or peels of citrus fruits such as oranges. Also important do not use human, cat or dog manure. When making your compost heap imagine the different layers on top of each other and how the different layers will work together to make wonderful compost for your garden. Here is an example of these different layers that you could use. Your first layer must be at lease 20cm high and should include items such as grass cuttings, maize stalks, branches or reeds. Note that air should be able to move freely into the first layer. Your second layer can consist of dry grass and weeds and the third layer can be made up with green materials such as grass clippings. After completing these three levels, level your compost heap and insert a few pipes, maybe three or four depending on the size of your heap. This will act as a chimney so that air can escape from the heap. Your next layer can be animal manure. The best manure to use would be that from goats, cattle horses and, or sheep. You could make a stop at a local horse stable and collect a bucket or bag of horse manure from them. Also remember to pack each layer around the pipes that you have inserted into your compost pile. In the next layer you can add more dry materials and the last layer should include poultry manure. Poultry manure is an excellent source of nutrients and can be incorporated into your compost heap. Keep in mind that the more heat the less nutrients there will be so try keep this for the last layer of your heap. The layers can be repeated in this order as many times as you like, remember to pour water onto your heap daily just to keep it moist, do not pour too much water onto your heap. You wouldn’t like it to get too wet. After two days you can pull out all the pipes. After a few weeks have a look at your heap again, if you find that your heap has cooled down simply turn it so that it will heat up again. The heat is a very good element to have as this kills weeds, unwanted seeds and fly larvae. Your compost should be ready for use in about two to three months.

 

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