Building your own compost heap has many rewards. Not only will you be helping the planet by recycling and putting waste back into the earth but you can also make one of the most nutrient-rich soils for your garden plants and vegetables ñ a win/win situation for all.
Hereís how to do it:
#1 – Prepare the area/container – you can go out and buy a fancy compost bin (there are many to choose from at garden centers) or you can simply make a ìheapî which is far more economical and will work just as well.
To make a heap you simply need 4 sides and a covering. You can use 4 similar sized pieces of wood, nailed together or you can use breeze blocks to make an enclosure for your waste. Youíll need to leave a detachable area in the front so that you can easily scoop out the compost.
If using bricks simply leave a small gap. If using wood, you can do the same or leave the whole front side loose so that you can easily remove the whole plank of wood to access your compost once ready.
Tip: Wood tends to be the ideal material as it is completely eco-friendly, economical and far easier to put together than a brick-sided heap.
#2 – Add your drainage material – Once you have your ìcontainerî ready then line the bottom with biodegradable material that will help absorb the compost faster. You can use straw, twigs or newspaper.
#3 – Heat things up – In order for your waste to turn into compost, you need heat. You can do this by adding a thin layer of already mature soil (which you buy at the garden center or from another area of the garden) on top of the first layers of waste. This will help trap the heat in and your waste will compost faster.
#4 – Cover and Turn – Another way to keep the temperature high in your heap is by covering it up. You can use old potato sacks, a sheet of plastic, or a thick blanket. Your compost will take approximately 3 or so months to degrade. You can help things along by turning the heap once or twice a month. Simply uncover and using a large, thick stick or shovel simply ìturnî the compost to distribute the heat.
#5 – Things you can compost – Shredded newspaper, uncooked vegetables and peelings, grass/lawn, old plants, hedge clippings, animal waste (chickens, dogs, cats), weeds, rotten fruit or fruit remains.
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