How To Make Compost

How To Make Compost

How to make compost or black gold!  One of the easiest ways to restore your soil and fertilize your plants is by adding compost. Old time gardeners considered consider compost “black gold” because it is filled with the microorganisms and nutrients needed to grow a healthy garden. Microorganism instantly become available to plants once added to a garden bed. Black gold consist of decomposed organic matter and can easily be made at home.

Compost making needs a few factors:

  • Using a small composting bucket in your kitchen to a large composting bin outside.
  • Composting is the process of recycling organic matter such as kitchen scraps, leaves or other plant based organic matter. 
  • As the plant material slowly rots, given the right conditions, it breaks down into soil rich nutrients or “black gold”.

To compost successfully:

  • organic matter needs to be free of oil and animal products;
  • water for proper moisture (the microorganism that break down the plant material need moisture to stay alive);
  • starter material such as finish compost,
  • soil free of chemicals,
  • or a fungi like mycorrhiza that will speed the process of decomposition.

To do a large pile outside you will need at least 10 gallons of organic matter and an environment that enables you to establish the right ambient temperatures. The ingredients of the compost should heat up within two or three days to 104° – 122° F or 40° – 50°C.

If you don’t have enough material don’t be discouraged. It will just take longer for the process to finish.  Depending on the height and the heat created, compost can be ready within a month. Or longer if conditions are not ideal. Proper turning and watering will give you a final product of “black gold”. See video on Turning a compost pile.

Using Worms

You can add worms to provide an extra added benefit and speed the decomposition. Worms are good when the pile is not hot and it’s not too big. If it looks like it has cooled off, then this is the right time to put those local worms to work.

See video for detailed explanation What Happens When Turning a Compost Pile

Read additional blogs on using straw mulch.