The annual use of a site for growing various crops greatly depletes the soil. To restore its fertility is required periodically fertilizer. One of the most affordable types of food that has a rich nutrient composition is compost. Such fertilizer can be made in the country with their own hands.
What is compost
Compost is a type of organic fertilizer,which is available to procure independently using various household and vegetable waste. High-quality composition containing minerals and valuable trace elements, equal to humus. Nutrient mixture reaches readiness as a result of decomposition of organic substances under the influence of heat and moisture. The compost heap is identified with a living biological reactor. The process of converting waste into a valuable nutritional product occurs due to intensively developing microorganisms.
Compost preparation is not a time consuming process, but the technology still has some features. Only the right composition can restore the vital forces of the soil, increase its fertility and improve its structure.
made? Whatever the tempting offers to buy ready-made compost, you can only trust the product you personally prepared. To obtain organic fertilizer you can use:
- waste and cleaning vegetables / fruits;
- egg shells( only from eggs that have not undergone heat treatment);
- tea leaves, coffee grounds;
- mowed grass;
- dry leaves;
- domestic animal dung, bird droppings;
- thin twigs, stems;
- paper, natural fabrics, feathers( raw materials in a crushed form);
- straw, shavings, husks from seeds.
All or part of the ingredients are filled into the box or pit in a specific order. To start the fermentation process, it is necessary to create a favorable temperature and high humidity.
The following ingredients should not be put into the composter or pit:
- vegetable waste and fruit that have been heat treated ( they contain non-nutritive ingredients, the composition will be non-nutrient);
- weed grass ( all types of weeds contain toxic or toxic substances that are dangerous for the soil and crops);
- plants affected by any diseases or pests ( compost with this component provokes the spread of the disease on the soil and plants);
- synthetic material ( it is not subject to the process of decomposition and rotting);
- waste from citrus ( essential oils inhibit decomposition processes, a large number of crusts can increase the acidity of the soil).
The advantages and disadvantages of
In order to appreciate the full benefits of using compost, it is necessary to consider its effect on the soil environment and plants.
- Compost contains a large amount of valuable minerals and trace elements in the right proportion. When released into the soil, a rapid exchange process occurs, as a result of which the deficiency of the missing substances is immediately compensated.
- Organic when combined with the soil form a single structure. After heavy irrigation or rain, micronutrients remain on the surface, unlike mineral fertilizers, which are deposited in deeper layers of soil.
- Compost well passes moisture and air, that allows him to improve the structure of the soil in the upper layers. This is important for the normal development of the root system.
- The composition of the fertilizer includes a large amount of humus , which increases the fertility of the earth.
- It is almost impossible to feed the plants with organic matter. All components are of natural origin. They undergo natural decay processes without contaminating the soil with various toxins.
- Of organic fertilizer, compost is the most affordable way to enrich the soil with nutrients.
Compost has practically no disadvantages. However, it is worth noting that when arranging a compost pile or pit, you need to choose a place away from the rest area and at home, since the process of decay is accompanied by the release of an unpleasant smell. In addition, this object attracts flies, ants and other insects. Arrangement of a special box, which is equipped with doors, will help to avoid problems with such a neighborhood. Insulating a compost pile in this way also has aesthetic value, a corner of the plot will not look dull.
How to make a compost box with your own hands
To organize a collection point for organic waste in order to obtain fertilizer, it is recommended to use a compost box. Making the repository is completely simple, following simple rules.
The design requirements for the
section In order for the manufactured container to meet all the requirements, important aspects should be taken into account when assembling it:
- side walls should have openings that allow air to circulate( you can leave 2 cm gaps between the boards);
- such an element as the bottom of the box is missing;
- cover will limit the flow of water during heavy rains( excessive moisture will provoke the development of fungus);
- the lower part of the box must be openable to ensure the fertilizer intake( from the bottom the composition matures faster).
Materials for the manufacture of organic fertilizer
For the manufacture of a composting box, bars and boards are selected. You can also use wooden shields. Instead of a wooden cover, a frame upholstered with polyethylene film or polycarbonate is often used. Fixing of individual elements of the container is carried out by hardware and loops( unlocking fragments).
- Clear plant waste from the compost box and remove the sod layer. Perform markup on the drawing.
- Dig holes in the corners of a depth of 35-50 cm to install supports.
- Install the supports in the pits, align them vertically and fill them with gravel to half the depth. The remaining part of the soil surface is poured with cement.
- After 1-2 days after hardening of the cement, cover the cement with earth.
- Connect the supports on the top and bottom with bars( 4 sides).
- Sheathe boards on the perimeter of the frame, leaving gaps of 2 cm for air access. On one side or on both sides of the bottom, you need to attach the board to the hinges so that it can open to collect fertilizer.
- Equip the top with a unlocking lid, knocked out of several boards without gaps.
How to make a compost pile
As an option, prepare a compost pile in one of the nooks of the plot. A heap does not mean an indiscriminate landfill, but a systematic collection of organic waste. The place is better to choose in the shade, the components will dry up in the sun. Shady shelter provides the necessary moisture, which favorably affects the process of decay. Worms, woodlice and other microorganisms also contribute to degradation.
For the compost heap, you need peat( as a litter) and an organic bookmark, including:
- shredded branches and stems of plants;
- kitchen waste;
- fine paper and tissue scraps;
- hay, straw;
- manure and others.
For the improvement of heaps around the perimeter, haricot beans or ornamental shrubs are planted. You can also protect the area with a low fence.
Preparation technology at the cottage
The arrangement of the compost heap can be done at any time of the year, except for winter. To do this, a layer of soil of about 20 cm is removed in a selected area and the resulting excavation is filled with peat( a layer of at least 10 cm).Peat pillow will cope with insulation that prevents leakage of nutrients, no worse than roofing or polyethylene. Further, all
components are laid in layers. It is impossible to dump all organic garbage randomly, the fermentation process may not develop, or the ingredients will simply rot and become covered with fungus. Layer lay in such a way that the wet components alternate with dry. The thickness of green plants should be within 20 cm, manure and bone meal - 5 cm, household waste - 15 cm.
Properly arranged heap in total contains up to 70% of plant residues, up to 10% of soil, up to 20% of manure or otherorganics. Some gardeners recommend that each layer be covered with balls of fertile soil( thickness 5-7 cm). The top is covered with straw or hay, pre-watering a bunch of hot solution based on bird droppings or manure.
Organic bookmark matures on average 8 months. Any gardener admits that this is too long, therefore, the output is found in the phased arrangement of several compost pits or the use of special preparations, which, thanks to bacteria, speed up the decomposition process. Also the maturation of the compost is possible in bags.
Such products are made based on natural components, they can not cause harm to the soil or plants. For example, the drug Ambico Compost( Gringo) provides fertilizer maturation in just 6-8 weeks.
How to determine that the compost is ready
The finished compost can be identified by the characteristic dark color of the composition. It should be crumbly, moist, not emitting a stench. The mature fertilizer has the smell of forest land.
Observing the rules of composting, you can regularly replenish the nutrient mix for the garden and kitchen garden with your own hands, without spending additional funds on the finished fertilizer.