Ideal Gardening Compost

Ideal Gardening Compost

It’s no secret that you can’t get a normal harvest without organic fertilization. And even the most unpretentious garden needs such care. However, acquiring manure lately is a real problem.

The only way out is to make compost. This is not only a replacement for manure but also the creation of a “live” soil that provides balanced plant nutrition. However, in order for compost to become the ecological basis of a clean garden, it must be prepared competently and very carefully.

Content and location of the compost heap

Gardeners often throw everything that decays into one pile, mix it several times, sometimes water it and consider the compost ready. In fact, composting is a complex process that takes place under the influence of water, heat, air and living organisms.

The compost heap is a biochemical “reactor” in which vitality boils and boils, transforming raw organic materials into the final product – nutrient-rich humus.

ideal world gardening compost
Properly prepared compost will help the soil restore vitality and increase fertility, improve its structure.

The intensity and completeness of decomposition in it are determined by the variety of incoming organic materials. First of all, it is necessary to combine carbon-rich plant residues with a nitrogen-containing component, for example, with manure. It is advisable to add some pre-made compost with microorganisms present in it. The soil is a very important element of the compost heap. It may be infertile, but it is important that it is clay or loamy. Such land is an excellent starting material for the formation of organomineral complexes.

All decaying organic materials are suitable for the compost heap: branches of shrubs and trees, chips, sawdust, plant remains, old newspapers, weeds with clods of soil and roots, straw, hay, sod, kitchen waste. It is very useful to water the compost heap with four times diluted urine, which is excellent nitrogen fertilizer. Leaves serve as good bedding for her. They are composted neat by heaping and sprinkling with peat or soil. Deciduous compost lacks plant nutrients, but it has a positive effect on the water-holding capacity of the soil and its structure in general.

Coarse and coarse material before laying is crushed with a hatchet (branches of shrubs, trees, etc.). The cut grass is pre-dried in order to avoid the formation of a thick caked layer that can rot, then it is crushed.

Weeds with seeds cannot be composted.
Weeds with seeds cannot be composted.

What shouldn’t be composted? First of all, feces. They are the source of the spread of worms dangerous to humans. It is necessary to protect the compost from seeded weeds; you cannot use potato tops and vegetable residues affected by fungal diseases.

There is an opinion that a well-rammed, covered with a layer of clay or concreted substrate is prepared for the compost heap. But this is not true, since the earth beneath it should be fertile for earthworms and other organisms participating in the composting process.

When laying another compost heap in this place, the earthworms, remaining in the soil, will again take part in the decomposition of the contents. On the “dead” land, this process will drag on.

Placement of components and readiness of compost

In organic farming, the layers alternate in a certain order – green plants (up to 20 cm), nitrogen-containing substances (bone meal, manure – 5 cm). Then the heap is covered with lime, ash, phosphorite and covered with earth (2 cm). In this sequence, the layers are laid to the desired height of the heap, then it is covered with earth on all sides, and on top (in order to protect it from drying out) – with hay, straw, foliage, grass, etc. As a result, it turns out: 70% of the heap is plant residues, 10% is soil, 20% is manure.

The vital activity of microorganisms is impossible without air and water. The compost should contain as much water as a wrung-out sponge: moisture should be felt by touch, but no water should drip when squeezed into a fist. Moisture will be better absorbed if a small trough-shaped depression is made on the surface of the pile. Air access can be ensured by inserting thick sticks while composting. Then they are taken out, and ventilation and watering will be carried out through the holes obtained. The walls are made with a slight slope so that they gradually taper upward, and in cross-section have the form of a trapezoid. The pile can be folded in even circles in the form of bagels.

In garden plots for compost heaps, holes of various depths are dug, but generally not deeper than half a meter. As the compost is laid, a box of wooden materials is mounted on top. Ultimately, the height is brought to one and a half meters. The necessary conditions for the composting process are provided with the following heap sizes: height – at least one meter, width – at least one and a half meters, the length is determined by the size of the fertilized area. So, for a garden of 100 m, it is three to four meters.

In the finished and sheltered structure, an intense decomposition process begins. The temperature inside rises to almost 60 °, then gradually decreases. Very small piles, slowly forming, do not heat up and composting takes much longer.

When the components lose their natural shape and become indistinguishable against the general background, the compost is ready. It is a homogeneous crumbly dark brown mass with a fresh scent of forest earth. The compost ripens for 1-2 years, therefore, for its constant presence in a ripe form, it is necessary to maintain three compost heaps annually. The first will be in the process of laying, the second – in a state of maturation, the third – ready to use.

Various types of compost can be prepared in the backyard and summer cottages.

Wet compost

Fallen leaves can be sent to the compost bin
Fallen leaves can be sent to the compost bin

It is very simple to prepare it. Cut tops, grass and weeds after weeding, leaves and other non-lignified plant wastes are placed in a container up to 1 m (tank or barrel), which is placed in the sun. Fill with water until the compostable material is completely covered. Soda ash is added (2 tablespoons per 1 bucket of water). The container is closed with a lid or plastic wrap so that the fermentation process takes place better.

In about 10 days (depending on the weather) the composition will be ready. They are fed with fruit, vegetable, berry crops, flowers. It is noticed that caterpillars and larvae of many pests die from a solution diluted in a ratio of 1:10.

When the liquid runs out, add water. All new waste is placed in a container, it is better to replenish its contents often and in small portions. It is advisable to grind plant residues. This way, wet compost will be available throughout the summer. Once or twice during the summer, undissolved stems, grass, etc., accumulated at the bottom, are thrown into the compost heap.

Compost in three picket fences

Composting can be carried out in compact boxes made of a picket fence tied with a rope (width – up to one meter, height – up to one and a half meters). The need for three boxes is due to the fact that the compost in such conditions (without mixing, since the air enters between the pickets) matures in the middle lane in 3 years. In the spring, if you need loose fertile soil for planting, they untie the ropes of the next picket fence, which stood for three years, and get a scatter of compost. Then the picket fence is moved to a new place, during the summer it is filled with garden and household waste, watered several times and left for 3 years. Since there are three bins, the garden is provided with compost every year. As a result of the movement of boxes on the site, a “living” soil is formed step by step in the garden.


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    Lora on November 2021

    A very interesting discussion on the topic: “Do you need a compost heap (pit, box, etc.)? My opinion is not just necessary, but necessary! I have a question. And where do you dispose of the food waste that is generated in the kitchen during the preparation and consumption of food? Or, just like the mown grass, do you immediately carry it to the beds? Now, in many districts of the Moscow region, fires are not allowed to be burned in the plots. As soon as the smoke from the fire appears, the policeman immediately arrives and finishes. If there is no compost heap, where do you put dried branches, household dry waste – paper bags, old newspapers, etc.? I don’t know about you, but we do not have garbage containers in our dacha village. We already leave on Sunday night from the dacha with a full bag of trash, which cannot be put into compost – plastic and plastic bags, packaging of dairy products, etc. We come home and throw the bag into the trash can in the yard. Compost does not have to be used for growing seedlings, so as not to get sick with a black leg. You can scatter it under berry bushes, fruit trees, ornamental plantings. By the way about the black leg. In early spring I plant flower seeds for seedlings in purchased soil, and the growing seedlings often get sick with a black leg. So this disease is not only caused by compost. Well, the advice of “advanced” farmers not to dig up the earth at all, to wait until the soil, overgrown with weeds the size of a man, is freed from them in some magical way, causes even more bewilderment. I assure you – it will not be free until you dig up and pick out the roots of the dandelion, sow thistle, dream with your hands, nettle, horsetail, etc. You can make and use compost, you can dig up the ground, you just need to do it competently and “wisely”. Thank you all for the interesting discussion.

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      Melissa on November 2021

      I wrote a new article on this topic, with new ideas, reconciling everyone. From the experiences of our ancestors and world experience. Coming soon. Read it.

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    Matthew on November 2021

    There are many proteins in green leaves, green grass, these are enzymes in a factory that converts the sun’s energy into nutrients. – in the fall, there are no protein substances in dry grass, the plant utilized them, and cellulose and lignin, that is, carbon, remained. Fresh grass is nitrogenous compost, straw and fallen leaves are carbonaceous compost.

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    Debbie on November 2021

    Please tell me, we have laid compost, but found that there is darkness, nagging crunchy. What should we do? Take everything out of the box? Thanks.

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      Debra on November 2021

      just wait another year and they won’t.

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    Janet on November 2021

    how many owners of compost heaps, so many opinions – what can be put there, and what not. Read the comments on the question just about the peel of citrus fruits in compost, I listened with interest to the opinions of all parties) I think if you put the peel of lemon and orange in the compost, it will not become poisonous from this, but if you don’t put it, there will be no damage either … Because really – how many citrus peels do we usually have? Most often in winter, when there is no fruit of its own. I honestly don’t remember when I ate oranges)
    Personal observation: I bury kitchen waste (vegetable and fruit peels and trimmings) at the clearing with flowers. I lift a layer of mulch, dig a hole on the bayonet of a shovel, lay it, sprinkle it with earth, then I cover it with a layer of earth 5-10 cm, cover with mulch. I water it from time to time. The flower bed is large, I dig it here and there) So, I accidentally dug up one bookmark (there were potato and onion peels, tomato trimmings and plums, and lemon peel). Everything except the lemon peel was in the process of active decay, and it was only dirty.

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      Linda on November 2021

      Thank you for the accurate experiment with citrus peel and its comparison with soil digestion of other waste. Maybe the peel of citrus fruits is better used as something the opposite of “feeding”, mulching, to prevent rotting The specificity of citrus fruits, that in quantity they appeared recently and there is no long-term experience of generations in our latitudes, what to do with them. )))


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