Composting ideas and learning how to make compost with the correct ratio of nitrogen to carbon helps you to create healthy soil which is essential for growing a garden.
Basic easy composting ideas and "organic" pest control methods will also help you to avoid poisoning yourself and your environment.
You'll want to avoid using any type of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides!
Common garden pests can be controlled with the use of beneficial insects such as the Ladybug. Ladybugs like to eat garden pests like aphids.
Also, when you learn to create a great compost and healthy soil, your garden will thrive with less pests, weeds, and disease!
How to Compost - The Basics
Compost is used to fertilize and improve your soil. The organic matter you add to compost will provide the food for microorganisms which helps to keep soil in a healthy balanced state.
These microbes will be responsible for breaking down your compost and they will need a balanced diet of nitrogen and carbon.
Nitrogen comes from materials such as fruit peelings, grass clippings, fresh hay, manure, meat, bones, and vegetable scraps.
Carbon comes from materials such as dead leaves, straw, wood chips, and shredded paper products.
There should be a balanced ratio of nitrogen materials to carbon
materials and using materials free of harmful chemicals is also advised.
In general, a finished compost should be 30 carbon to 1 nitrogen.
Composting Ideas: How to Compost with The Right Ratio of Carbon to Nitrogen
How to make compost with the right ratio of carbon to nitrogen may become very confusing until you understand the percentages
of carbon to nitrogen in your compost materials.
You see just because something is considered high in carbon doesn't mean that it won't also be a source of nitrogen and vice versa.
Nitrogen Rich Materials
Kitchen & Vegetable Scraps: 20 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen
Grass Clippings: 10 - 15 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen
Manure from Farm Animals: 5 - 10 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen
Carbon Rich Materials
Dry Leaves: 60 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen
Paper Products: 100 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen
Wood Chips & Shredded Cardboard: 300 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen
I have to say that this is just a general list of how much carbon and nitrogen may be in certain materials. For example, the more fiber found in vegetable scraps the higher the carbon count will be.
Vegetable scraps usually range from 25 - 60 parts of carbon to 1 nitrogen. And root vegetables can be as high as 100 to 1.
According to this video, you could mix 1 handful of vegetable scraps (rich in nitrogen) with 1 handful of dried leaves (rich in carbon) to get a good balance of carbon to nitrogen.
Or mix 2 handfuls of vegetable scraps with 1 handful of shredded newspaper to get a good balance.
Or you could mix 3 handfuls of vegetable scraps with 1 handful of wood chips to get close to a ratio of 30 to 1.
Simple Composting Ideas: Whenever you add nitrogen rich materials into your compost, you must balance the nitrogen with carbon rich materials.
In addition to the correct carbon to nitrogen ratio, you must have a good balance of beneficial micro-organisms. You must also aerate your compost pile to keep your compost pile aerobic which helps it to smell better.
Be sure there is enough moisture in your compost pile. You can do this by adding water to your compost with your garden hose.
Great composting ideas like shredding or using smaller pieces of material will help your compost to finish quicker.
How Healthy is Your Soil?
The whole reason that people put the time into making compost or searching for composting ideas is to end up with a healthy soil.
Healthy soil should resemble the color of a 70% cocoa chocolate bar.
Also, there must be enough active soil biology to grow healthy and productive plants that feed the animals as well as the people.
Would you like to have your soil or compost tested for it's active biology (soil food web)?
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