Compost is both economical and ecological. In fact, it not only avoids the need to go to the waste disposal centre to get rid of your garden or kitchen waste, but also allows you to recycle your waste by helping to protect the environment. But what is compost? How to create compost? How to use compost?
What is compost?
Compost is the result of a mixture of animal matter (red worms from manure) and vegetable matter (microscopic fungi, bacteria, yeasts) decomposing. In wood, a plant withers and dies as it decomposes on the ground. Thus, the soil regenerates, using plant waste that has become compost. This provides a pleasant smell of peat and black earth. Many people mistakenly think of it as fertilizer. Compost actually strengthens the soil and helps it retain essential nutrients, such as fertilizers. However, unlike fertilizers, it also improves soil stability and structure. So compost is more than just a fertilizer and an easy amendment.
How is compost created?
There are several methods of creating compost: composting in heaps, above-ground composting and composting in silos. Whichever method you choose, three rules must be followed to make a successful compost: mixing, aerating and moistening. Be careful to use only organic waste; this is called home composting.
To start the fermentation process, the waste must be mixed regularly for the first two months. Alternating each time you add dry waste (straw, dead leaves…), and wet waste (grass, herbs…). Each layer of organic matter must not exceed 20 cm. The mixture must then be aerated regularly, as this prevents the materials from rotting together and provides the oxygenation that is essential to the mixture. The humidity of a compost must be like a pressed sponge. If the humidity is not sufficient, the micro-organisms die and the transformation stops. Otherwise, this leads to a lack of aeration which stops the process.
How to use compost?
Compost is ready when it gives off a slightly peculiar smell, a bit like the one you can smell in the forest and its colours turn dark or black after 4 to 6 months, sometimes a little longer. Compost can be used for almost any garden planting. It is used especially during the period of plant growth. You can also use it in your vegetable garden, fruit trees, potted plants or lawn plantings. In short, all plants can benefit from its nutrient supply. Do not moderate the compost so that it can improve your soil on a long-term basis.