MAKE YOUR OWN COMPOST? THAT'S HOW YOU DO THAT!

MAKE YOUR OWN COMPOST? THAT'S HOW YOU DO THAT!

 


Composting kitchen and garden waste provides you as a gardener with double profit. Not only is it good for the environment (less waste!), it also provides a cheap and effective soil conditioner for the garden. Besides, it's not that difficult at all.

MAKE YOUR OWN COMPOST? THAT'S HOW YOU DO THAT!

Composting is the natural digestion of organic waste by all kinds of macro- and micro-organisms (insects, worms, fungi and bacteria) . Note: not everything can go on the compost heap. Leaves, ashes, kitchen waste and coffee grounds, hedge waste and pruning twigs, lawn waste and animal manure from herbivores such as chickens, rabbits, cows or horses can be stored on it. Also, don't throw large amounts of the same material on the compost heap at once. Provide variety and mix everything well for quick composting.

FASTER COMPOSTING WITH TOOL

The location and construction of your compost pile affects the process. Our experience shows that composting is faster in a moist shady place. And of course the ingredients matter. However, not all waste digests at the same rate. You can give your compost heap a helping hand to speed up the conversion. You give the organisms that digest the waste extra adapted food.
Ecostyle has several resources that work.

CAN WALNUT LEAVES GO ON THE COMPOST HEAP?

There are several stories about the walnut. Walnut leaves also simply fall on the ground in nature and digest there. So it can't be bad. The myth that walnut leaf is harmful is because walnuts secrete a substance through their roots that prevents the sprouting of other plants. In this way they counter the competition of other species. An odorant is also released via the leaf that repels insects. But the dead leaf no longer contains that substance. So just use.

IS LEAF SOIL DIFFERENT FROM COMPOST?

No, leaf soil is actually exactly the same as compost. Only then are there no other ingredients in the compost than the leaves of trees. Some gardeners and growers prefer to use leaf soil because by definition it does not contain weed seeds and also certain extra nutrients.

CAN YOU MAKE COMPOST FROM OAK LEAF?

Oak leaf, like other tree leaves, can easily be composted. This also happens in nature. The tannic acid only slows down the process a bit. Oak leaf is therefore often composted mixed with other leaf. The same applies (to a lesser extent) to leaves of chestnut, ash, maple, elder, alder, linden, willow, oak, beech and magnolia.
What is also possible: making leaf soil. Stuff the leaf into garbage bags. Tie it up, leave it like that for a year and then you have the most beautiful leaf soil you can imagine. The digestion process takes place automatically in the bags.

WHAT IS THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF COMPOST?

That's hard to say. In fact, with the homemade compost you give back the nutrition that your garden has 'supplied'. An advantage of this is that your garden remains somewhat in balance. But if your plants require certain nutrients, you have to administer them separately. On the other hand, our experience is that homemade (varied) compost is by definition nutritious and good for all kinds of soil processes.

BUILDING A COMPOST HEAP

Creating a compost site is very simple. You choose a shady place at the edge of your garden, under the trees or between the bushes. If you opt for a sleek construction with posts, mesh and slats, it doesn't matter at all that you can see it. You can also grow some plants against it.
We have made a compost place out of metal grids. When the 'heap' is full and not yet digested, we cut the grids and make a new one in a different place.
Provide variety in the 'bak'. The more different leaf and vegetable and fruit waste, the better the composting process. It helps if you poke through the waste with a fork from time to time.

 

BUY A COMPOST BIN

That is of course also possible. Compost barrels and bins come in all kinds of colors, sizes and designs. From old and familiar to modern design. There are not a lot of advantages compared to a self-built open construction, but also not many reservations. In a closed space (which can also be a plastic bag) it goes a bit faster. We simply like the most natural place possible. Also because all kinds of critters can hide in it. But if you don't want odors and no rats or otherwise, a closed facility is the best choice.

PRODUCTS THAT ARE CERTAINLY NOT SUITABLE FOR COMPOSTING YOURSELF

  • Cooked food (attract pests)
  • Meat, fish or cheese remnants (ditto)
  • Plant remains that contain disease (fungi, etc.)
  • Weeds with lots of seeds
  • Perennial weeds, such as ground elder, nursery grass, clover, etc.
  • Plant residues that still contain pesticides
  • Wood shavings and sawdust treated with a preservative
  • glossy paper
  • Paper diapers
  • Citrus peels (often also treated with chemicals)
  • Coal ash (wood ash from untreated wood is allowed)
  • Material that is too coarse (then shred first)
  • Dust from the vacuum cleaner
  • Cat litter and bird cage litter (possible spread of germs)
  • Non-degradable material, such as plastic
  • Fabrics, such as wool or cotton
  • Animal waste, attracts vermin
  • Plant waste that has been affected by fungus or diseases, for example by clubroot
  • Weeds that may contain seeds
  • Old bread
  • Cheese residues also attract vermin and the plastic crusts do not digest
  • Ashes from smoking articles (cigars, cigarettes)
  • Potato skins (if treated with anti-sprouting agents)
  • Peels of citrus fruits and bananas (which are also often treated with chemicals)

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