A Guide On How To Make Compost To Enrich Your Garden

how to make compost to enrich your garden

Gardening is more than just planting plants. As a gardener, you must regularly check on your plants, nourish them, water them and provide adequate support. 

Despite taking care of the plants, sometimes they stop blooming, stunting their growth. During such times, gardeners provide a dose of nutrients in the form of fertilizers or organic growth promoters. While manually giving nutrition to the plant, the gardeners must ensure excess manure is not provided as it can start deteriorating the plant’s health. 

Some of the significant side effects of using chemical fertilizers are stunted growth, curled leaves, and no flowering. One can avoid such issues and help the plant flourish by preparing your compost. 

Compost consists of a mixture of ingredients used to improve soil nutrition. It is prepared by decomposing plants, food waste, and other organic matter. The resulting mix is rich in plant nutrients and beneficial organisms, such as worms and fungal mycelium. Compost not only provides nourishment to the plant but at the same time improves soil fertility and texture in gardens. 

For a good compost, all you need is a compost bin, organic waste to decompose, and air and water. To avoid compost rotting, you can follow rules that could help get good results. 

Practises to follow while composting

#1 Layering the compost pile 
By adding a proportionate ratio of carbon and nitrogen in the compost bin, you can balance out the browns and greens, which is essential while composting. For example, laying twigs or straw a few inches deep aids drainage and helps aerate the pile.

#2 Turning the compost pile
Turn your compost after every few days with a shovel to ensure it’s aerated. By doing so, you activate the ingredients and help speed up the decomposition process. 

#3 Keeping the compost moist
To accelerate the decomposition process, you may add water to your compost pile to maintain the required moisture content. Ensure the compost is moist and not drenched in water to avoid rotting of the compost. 

#4 Avoid dairy products and meat items
For faster decomposition, add ingredients that are easy to decompose. While dairy and meat can be decomposed, the time frame required is longer. It can also invite unwanted pests like grubs and rats, which might produce a foul odour. 

#5 Avoid pet droppings
The pet droppings are highly acidic. There are parasites in the pet dropping that can affect human and plant health. When added to the compost pile, it can release foul odour and rot the compost. Hence it is recommended to avoid adding pet droppings to the compost pile. 

#6 Adding browns and greens 
One should follow the 4:1 carbon and nitrogen ratio while adding waste to the compost bin. By following this, you activate thermophilic bacteria, which is required for good decomposition. 

After understanding some practices to follow, do you wonder what kind of ingredients to add for a good compost and how we can maintain the carbon: nitrogen balance? Well, it is easy to maintain a compost pile if the right amount of wet and dry waste is added to the pile. However, how do we differentiate between wet and dry waste?

Wet Ingredients

The wet material is nitrogen-rich. Most of the micro-organisms feed on sugar and proteins. Some of the wet ingredients that can be used to add to the compost pile are- grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit peels, coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, tea bags and many other items. 

Dry Ingredients

Dry items enrich the soil, retain moisture, and suppress plant diseases and pests. It also encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create a rich nutrient-filled material.

Some of the dry ingredients that can be added to a compost pile are- coco-peat, wood chips, sawdust, hay, dry leaves, shredded newspaper, cardboard, nut shells etc. 

Sometimes, the decomposition process takes longer, even after having a suitable nitrogen and carbon ratio. We can opt for a compost maker during such periods to help speed up the overall composting process. Many chemical-based compost makers in the market contain chemicals that can affect the composting process. These chemical-based compost makers do not improve the overall soil structure. However, with our research, we have developed Soilmate that is organic and can accelerate composting speed. 

Choosing An Organic Compost Maker

Soilmate contains Odour Busting Technology that can suppress foul odour and speed up the composting process by supporting solid waste management. The microbes inhibit harmful bacteria & repel disease-carrying flies and maggots, keeping your compost hygienic and disease-free. 

Some of the key benefits of using SoilMate are:

  • It rapidly composts organic waste, thereby supporting home and community composting
  • It contains microbes that are facultative in nature i.e. suitable for the aerobic and anaerobic composting process
  • It eliminates foul odour.
  • It can repel unwanted pests. 

SoilMate is highly compatible with all kinds of composting equipment like composting pits, aerated bins, vertical/horizontal tumblers, automatic, semi automatic & manual composting machines etc. You can also check out our guide to Home Composting to learn what our experts say about composting and its importance.

Post by Rohan Bhansali