How to use compost in the garden

How to use compost in the garden

Among the fertilizers that can be used for the organic garden, the cheapest and most ecological is undoubtedly compost, which allows you to reuse vegetable waste both from the garden itself and from the house, after having subjected them to a decomposition process.

The organic substance that this material can bring is precious for soil amendment, as well as nourishing the plants, it makes the soil softer to work and more capable of retaining moisture.

In this article we see how to use compost to fertilize: how much it is needed and when it is better to spread it, after having made the heap, to learn how to do it instead you can always read on Orto Da Coltivare a small guide on how to do home composting , while wanting to broaden the topic to organic fertilization with biological method you can deepenhow to fertilize the vegetable garden. A further study on the subject of composting can be obtained by reading the book Making compost, a really useful and complete manual.

The compost heap

Composting takes place thanks to the action of several bacteria and microorganisms that work to decompose the organic substances, after this process these will be homogeneously recomposed. Aerobic microorganisms that live in the presence of oxygen do the bulk of the work, for this reason in a correct composting the pile must not be too high and not even very pressed. When the air circulates, the bacteria are able to act best in all parts of the heap and the matter decomposes better, without harmful rot. It is advisable to keep the compost always in the same area of ​​the soil, in this way the microorganisms can create their environment and settle in that area. Better to choose a marginal point of the garden, without too much water stagnation and where it does not bother aesthetically.

The material to compost

The correct humidity is also important for correct decomposition to occur, too much water causes rot and can then lead to fungal diseases, while when the waste is dry it does not attract microorganisms and the process slows down. A good compost comes from mixed material: fresh materials and dry materials, even fibrous. A variety of materials guarantees the organic richness necessary to make the humus produced a good fertilizer, rich in nutrients and microelements. The waste material to be composted must be shredded, too large pieces delay the composting process. For this reason a shredder that allows you to insert the shredded branches is very useful.

Garden shredder

Animal waste, such as meat, fish, bones, bones, which in addition to causing rottenness can attract unwelcome animals, should be avoided.

The smell of compost is not necessarily the stench that can be expected: proper composting does not cause rot and therefore does not produce a bad smell. A persistent and intense smell is a symptom that something is not working.

How and when to spread the compost

The compost is spread on the ground of the garden when it is ripe, or when the decomposition process has taken place and the composted material is homogeneous. The degradation of vegetable waste must not take place in the cultivated land, because the roots of our vegetables could be affected. If you use young compost, not yet ready, you risk causing rot or high temperatures, which can be fatal to horticultural plants. The maturation takes an average period of around 6/10 months, it depends on various environmental conditions, the main one is the temperature: the heat facilitates the process, while the frost interrupts it.

The ready compost is placed in the garden spreading it evenly on the ground, it can then be hoed to incorporate it into the first layer of soil, ideally it must remain within the upper 20 centimeters.

There is no better period in which to fertilize, even if the ideal in basic fertilization is that the composted matter is dispersed in the soil at least one month before sowing or transplanting vegetables. For this reason, a typical time for composting is the autumn months or late winter, preparing the soil for the vegetable garden in March and April.

How much compost is needed to fertilize a vegetable garden

To fertilize a garden correctly, about 3/5 kilos of compost per square meter are needed, the specific fertilization obviously depends on the characteristics of the soil, how much the soil has been used previously and the type of vegetable that will be grown in the future. However, on average, the indication of 3/5 kg can be useful to take into account to make a good family garden with various mixed vegetables. A 100 square meter vegetable garden therefore requires about 4 quintals of compost.

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