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Video: How To Make Quality Compost
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 20:34
Compost is my first helper in increasing yields
What kind of compost is needed
Luiza Nilovna Klimtseva
There are as many fantasies about the construction of composts as there are gardeners themselves. Practice has shown: good compost is obtained in structures that have air access.
The Net Compost is a reprint from a German magazine, i.e. German gardeners use such mesh fences. But in our zone it is impossible to use it: wood lice grows out of all the cells to be the most powerful.
Good composts are made from planks, old slate, sheet metal, film, but it is important that there are cracks at the joints of the fences for air access. Concrete or brick can be used, but holes must be made in the walls; the floor in such compost boxes should not be concreted.
Any composting structure does not need to be buried, creating a pit. You can go deeper no more than 1-1.5 bayonets of a shovel, because ensiling without oxygen will take place in the pit, and this is a completely different biochemical process associated with the formation of acidic decomposition products.
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I recommend dividing the compost into four sections, since if you put waste together with feces, then in this section the compost should mature for three years. For example, last summer I filled this section, in the fall I covered it with a layer of earth of 15-20 cm. Only three years later, in the fall, I will be able to take the compost that has matured here to use it in the beds. And next summer I will again fill this section with waste from the garden.
All four sections do not have to be placed in one place, they can be in different places in the garden. True, if you are going to use composting beds as beds, i.e. grow green crops, seedlings, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, radishes on them, as I do, then they should be placed in places illuminated by the sun. My composts are in one place: all four are on the same line. In the morning they are not very illuminated, during the day there is an abundance of sun, and from 4 pm they are in the shade. But the compost ripens there, in addition, from these areas I get two harvests of vegetables per summer.
The size of the composts depends on the size of your garden. If the area of the garden is large, then there will be a lot of weeds, then a small compost is not suitable. I have a plot of 5.7 acres with all the buildings, so four sections 160 cm long, 82 cm high, 160 cm wide are enough. And every year I get two cubic meters of quality compost.
The length of the compost box can be made arbitrary, and each gardener must make the width according to his height. You will be working on compost, which means you have to bend over, and then the middle of the compost will be at arm's length. With this width, it is convenient to work from both sides - sow, loosen, weed. The height should also be comfortable for the gardener. You also need to bend over, and the height of the compost will be at the level of the stomach.
There are, of course, compost pots two meters high. They work from ladders, stepladders, benches. I think this is unacceptable for an elderly person. Then try to drag the compost buckets along the ladders.
The composts can be made low - 50-60 cm and below - but long and use three years for growing cucumbers. It is easy to install arcs on their formwork - and the greenhouse is ready.
After three years of use, the compost is taken out or the formwork is removed, and a good clean ridge is obtained, its height will no longer be more than 20 cm. And the compost can be put in a new place - on a depleted area or overgrown with weeds.
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What do I put in the compost
At the bottom I throw twigs of bushes, sawdust, bark, wood chips - whenever something happens. I make a layer 3-5 cm thick, sprinkle it with dolomite flour, ammonium nitrate, if there is manure, add it a little too. Then I lightly cover this layer with weeds or grass on top. And so everything lasts 3-4 weeks.
This can be done in the fall, once you have cleared the compost section, or in early spring before weeding. Then all the weeds go into the compost - woodlice, bluegrass, shepherd's purse, thistle, chamomile, dandelion, nettle, plantain, tansy, quinoa, runny without roots, coltsfoot, wormwood, horsetail without roots, etc.
I will say about wheatgrass separately, based on my practice. According to science, wheatgrass in compost, like mother-and-stepmother, cannot be put, I knew this, but decided to conduct an experiment. Here's what happened. If wheatgrass with roots is placed in a compost with weeds of the first weeding or the second, i.e. not to the very top, and if you do not shovel a bunch, then in three years nothing remains of it. And if wheatgrass gets into the top layer, then by October it will certainly germinate.
You can cut the turf in layers and put it in one layer with the roots upside down, i.e. down with the grass, into the first weeding or into the middle layer of the compost, but not into the top layer. I do not do this every year, but I do it because on our artificial soils, sod land is a blessing. In addition to weeds, lettuce, cabbage, radish, beet, carrot, celery, parsnip leaves, as well as stalks of garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichoke, all flowers, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and potatoes go into compost.
I compost the leaves of wild strawberries, berries, sediment from the infusion of herbs, cut green manure, perennial onions. I also send all the food waste from the kitchen, egg shells there, and also pour water from under the sink into the compost, however, I wash the dishes with laundry soap. I pour out the feces. It is not recommended to use pieces of meat, bacon, citrus fruits. But for all the years of composting, I have not seen any undecomposed egg shells or large meat and fish bones in it.
I do not collect the leaves of the trees and do not use them for compost. Fallen leaves produce a special kind of compost. It is better to cook it separately, because they are decomposed by another microflora - microscopic fungi. There are few mineral elements in the leaves, because before litter, nutrients pass into the branches, the ash from them is poor, but the leaves are rich in difficult-to-decompose substances - cellulose and lignin. The resulting humus from the leaves improves the structure of any soil, it is especially useful on sandy and heavy soils. Leaf compost can replace peat.
If you have trees on the site, then their leaves can be composted separately, but you can also compost with weeds, but sprinkle them not in thick layers, but mixed with grass, manure, if any. The leaves give an acidic environment, so check the finished compost for acidity.
In all recommendations, it is advised to chop plant residues, I do not chop anything - neither Jerusalem artichoke stalks, nor tall tomatoes. It is recommended to shovel the compost periodically, I never shovel, because it's very hard. It is recommended to water - I only pour out a bucket from under the sink, and also rains get there.
Some gardeners recommend covering the composts with lids and films. And for the winter for some reason to warm. I never cover or insulate them. This is the soil, why insulate it. Only when vermicompost is obtained with the help of California worms, insulation is done. Not even insulation, but the process takes place in closed warm hangars and basements.
Each season in the fall, I get two cubic meters of black, beautiful humus, with a pH of 7. These are not just words. In 2004, a specialist from the Fart company came to my site and took compost for analysis. Testing showed: pH 7.
The value of the compost depends on the deposited residues, i.e. on the ratio of carbon and nitrogen in these residues. The C: N ratio should be 20-30: 1. Decomposition will slow down with a higher carbon content relative to nitrogen. With a lower content of nitrogenous residues, the compost will be poor in nitrogen.
|Raw materials for compost||C: N Ratio|
|Cut grass||15-20: 1|
|Plant remains||15: 1|
|Leguminous plants||15-20: 1|
|Bird manure||20-30: 1|
|Reed, reed||30-60: 1|
|Kitchen waste||25: 1|
How is humus obtained from all garden waste?
Cycle 1. Decomposition and fermentation is a rapid rise in temperature. It occurs due to microorganisms that feed on proteins, sugars. At a temperature of + 40 ° C, heat-loving bacteria and fungi begin to work: the decomposition of cellulose and fats begins. After 3-7 days, the temperature reaches a peak of + 60-70 ° C, when weed seeds and some pathogens die, acidity decreases.
Restructuring. The temperature drops sharply to + 35 ° С, fungi actively multiply. The formation of gases increases in the compost mass, ammonia is released. Everything lasts about two weeks. This mass is called "wet compost" and can be buried in clay soils.
Cycle 3. Fresh compost. The temperature drops to + 20 ° С, springtails, millipedes, wood lice and other small animals appear. They grind and mix organic and minerals in a heap. The more of them, the less acidity of the compost. After a few months, "fresh compost" is obtained. It can be carried under perennials. This is already black, loose soil, but the woody and tough stems are not completely decomposed, so some gardeners sift such humus. But it is not necessary to sift under berries and other perennials, you can bury it like that.
Cycle 4. Maturation. As soon as the temperature equals the ambient temperature, the ripening period begins. The earthworms remain. As a result of their activity, the compost becomes mature. It is the mature compost that restores and improves the properties of the garden soil. It is he who has a pH of 7.
There are drugs to speed up fermentation, but I don't use them. In the matured compost, there are no earthworms, no decomposed sticks, twigs. I don't have to sift it. The recommendations write: do not sow compost with anything, do not grow anything on it, because plants take up nutrients. Yes, maybe it is. But I noticed that if nothing is sown on the compost, then weeds will grow. Therefore, I think it is better to grow cultivated plants there. How to get two crops in a summer from one compost area is another topic.
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If gardeners have a large volume of unused berries, then it is quite possible to make homemade wines from them, and various - dessert, semi-sweet, dry - depending on the tastes and preferences of the manufacturers. And if you also take into account that the drinks currently available on the sale, affordable, are far from natural, then, of course, it makes sense to prepare your own natural wines instead of shoveling your crops into compost pits, especially in good years
I want to acquaint the reader with two types of homemade wine - dry apple wine, which can be easily turned into semi-sweet, depending on the wishes of the consumer, and berry tincture