Compost is always more preferred by gardeners than commercial fertilizer. First of all this is because it is cheaper and can be made at home while commercial fertilizers are expensive and store bought. But to begin with here is what to compost and what not to compost
What to compost
- Fruit remains
- Vegetable scraps
- Plants and grass clipping from mowing the lawn
What not to compost
- Meat and dairy products
- Diseased animals
- Fecal matter
- Weeds that seed
How to make compost
Make the compost in your garden by combining the brown and green materials together. The rule of thumb is to add one part green matter to three parts brown matter. If the compost is too dry and brown add some water and more green matter. You can add brown matter to very wet and smelly compost to even the ratio out.
Put the compost matter in a hole about three feet deep. Make sure that you water the compost regularly so that it has a spongy consistency. However, do not add too much water which will drown and destroy the microorganisms you want to grow in the compost.
As the compost decomposes you can monitor it using a thermometer to see how much heat it is producing (should be between 130 and 150 degree Fahrenheit). If you do not have a thermometer, reach your hand into middle. It should feel warm to the touch.
Keep stirring up your pile to help it cook evenly. Also stirring prevents the materials from becoming matted at the bottom.
How to use the compost
It is time to feed it into your garden so add four to six inches to the earth around your plants. Do this at the beginning of every planting season. You can steep your compost into water for a few days then strain the water and use it like a liquid fertilizer. No matter which way you decide to use the compost you are safe with this option. And you can make it just before the planting season.