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If you love gardening or the environment, it must hurt to throw away all that vegetal matter when it could be recycled easily into your backyard.
Read on to find out why it makes perfect sense to compost and how you can take the first simple steps to make it work in your own backyard…
Compost is any mixture of organic material that has been decomposed enough to form a nutrient rich, dirt-like material. It will help your plants take root and grow.
Composting is a natural way to recycle organic material. You can help nature to decompose organic material into compost by setting up ideal conditions and materials to speed up the process.
Composting makes sense as long as you have the space and the means.
Did you know that leftover food scraps and garden cuttings together currently make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away?
Over time you can reduce your need to buy compost for your garden.
It is a natural fertilizer so it’s great for growing and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers as well.
The fact that compost improves soil structure and absorbs water makes it good at keeping your plants hydrated and helps with drought resistance.
By making the soil healthier. You’ll find that plants can be more disease and pest-resistant
It is essential to ensure the right organic composting ingredients are being used. Do note that when adding the ‘Brown’ or ‘Green’ matter - ensure that you have chopped up the ingredients into small pieces to speed up the decomposition process.
The main organic material includes brown matter that will help provide carbon for your compost. It includes any of the following.
Make sure your yard trimmings are note already treated with chemical pesticides as this will infect your plant health if transferred from the compost
You will need nitrogen-rich materials such as the leftover food and green cuttings such as vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds. The green matter plays a role in providing nitrogen in the decomposition process
Water is an essential ingredient providing moisture. You will need access to water to moisten dry materials before adding them in. Your pile should therefore feel damp but not so saturated that it will be dripping if squeezed. This will help break down the organic matter.
Suffice it to say, as you are in the business of creating healthy soil the last thing you want to do is to add anything that will damage your garden e.g. diseased or infected plants. The wrong plant matter may release toxins that are harmful to plants.
You must also stay clear of meat, fat based or dairy products as these items may attract pests such as rodents and flies and will make the place smell bad.
Meat or fecal matter may also contain parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens, and viruses that are also harmful to humans and not just plants.
And of course, no non-organic matter.
Here is a good indicator of what you mustn’t include in your compost pile
NB: Most biodegradable bags aren't compostable or can only be composted at industrial composting facilities.
When setting up your compost pile or bin, pick a shady spot with access to a water source.
It’s a bit like tending a fire.
For more information on Composting or using a composting bin you can also checkout info from the Composting Association of Ireland
Ready to make yourself some compost? You’ll find some helpful tools in this Garden catalogue.