Starting and Maintaining a Compost Pile successfully
When we think about growing quality fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc…. it depends in part on one thing and that is the type of soil that we use to grow them. The soil is so important to plant life because plant life depends on the soil in order to grow healthy giving us the results we’re looking for.
And a smart way to go about this is to create our own compost pile. Compost piles are created from natural products that we find right in our kitchens like portions of vegetables leftover from Sunday dinner or it may be that banana peel from the banana which you use to make a banana smoothie or yet again it may be that onion skin which you peeled from that onion to make a salad.
Simply put compost is organic material that decomposes over a period of time to look like soil. Any vegetable or fruit leftover can be used to make a compost pile.
How to create a compost pile
First off you will need a good shady location to start your compost pile. You will also need to purchase a compost pile box from your nursery or you can have a homemade one made. Next fill the bottom of the box with 6 – 8 inches of organic material which may be hay, straw, brown leaves, sawdust, shredded paper, coffee ground, or newspaper.
Avoid the following which can attract pests to your compost pile.
Meat remnants, bones, diseased plants, dog, cat, and pig manure.
Next add about four inches of green organic matter such as grass clippings, kitchen scraps like vegetables, fruits, and eggshells. You can also add chicken manure. On top of this add about two inches of soil then add some water. Repeat these layers along with adding water until you have a pile that is about three to four feet high.
Starting a compost pile
You can also add earthworms if you like to speed up the process
Yes, I know! pretty creepy and gross but guess what? These little guys are an added bonus to your garden to ensure that you get the kind of results you are looking for.
Within 2 -3 days, use a pitchfork and turn the pile thoroughly. Make sure to cover the top with a material that does not allow water to get in. This recommendation would be for the homemade compost bin. The one that you purchase from your nursery or hardware store comes complete.
Be patient you’re almost there!
Make sure to water your compost pile to keep it moist but not soggy. Turn the compost pile with a pitchfork thoroughly once every two weeks, this helps to aerate the compost pile which will speed up the process. The process is completed when you have dark brown rich soil that has an earthy smell.
This compost pile or dark rich gold will work wonders for you and your garden and you will be pleased to see how healthy your plants will be.
The benefits of creating a compost pile
1. Adding compost to the soil will help the soil to retain water.
2. Compost will also help in the proper drainage of the soil.
3. By adding compost to the soil you will have soil that is rich in nutrients.
4. Your soil will be able to retain fertilizer much better.
5. The soil will be better able to circulate air for the plant.
6. The compost will improve soil texture.
7. The compost will improve the soil structure.
8. Reduces soil compaction.
9. Plant roots will establish more easily.
10. Prevents soil erosion.
The final word
These are just a few of the benefits of what compost can do for your soil. So a little work and a little patience are worth the wait. With that said let’s get started on that compost pile. Your plants will love you for it and you will reap the rich rewards.