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Unfortunately, very few gardens in the city provide enough waste material to create a compost pile where the decomposition process required for composting can be rapid.
As a rule, the compost is more like a pile of garbage from which garden waste is occasionally disposed of. But this can be easily changed by adding straw or withered foliage to the compost.
What belongs to the compost?
The organic material in a compost heap is released by bacteria and other microorganisms, which can only thrive if they have air, water, nitrogen, an acid-free environment and high temperatures. Their activity is, however, set certain limits even under the most favorable conditions. You should therefore avoid woody material such as cabbage on the compost to give tough plant stems should always be crushed before composting.
Plant-infested plant parts do not belong to the compost, so fertilization will not infect other plants, they are best burned to prevent spread of the disease. Neither roots of perennial wild herbs such as couch grass, greed and wind, nor any wild herb seed should be added to the compost to prevent wild growth.
The best compost consists of soft plant material such as fallen leaves, harvested pea plants, withered flowers, trimmings of trimmed hedges, hay, straw and grass clippings alternating with vegetable scraps such as vegetable and fruit scraps, tea leaves, coffee grounds, or crushed eggshells. Leftovers on the compost as well as greasy waste have lost something, since this can lure vermin and rats.
Construction and location of a composter
Finished composters are on offer in the trade, but you can, even without being a gifted craftsman, make your own compost silo, which is open at the top with columns for the air supply in the walls. In a masonry compost container, the brick walls for ventilation must have sufficiently large gaps. If one side of the container can be opened, the compost is more accessible. A heap measuring 2 x 2 x 1.5 m quickly delivers good compost. In a small garden, a compost bin made from chicken wire and wooden posts, which should not be smaller than 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.2 m, is recommended.
The compost pile is built directly on well-drained soil, so that excess water can drain. Layer the compost heap layer-wise if possible, each layer of organic material should be 30cm high. Firmly wet the plant waste and wet it with a commercial compost starter that accelerates the process of rotting. The conclusion is a 5cm high layer of ordinary garden soil. Until the compost heap is stacked ready, it is covered with bags or plastic film, so it does not cool.
A freestanding compost heap is set up with slightly sloping sides to the desired height. For calcareous soils, it is not necessary to limestone; for acidic soils, sprinkle every other layer with lime (120 g / m2) and then apply another layer of lime on top, before the pile is finally covered with a layer of soil.
Course of composting
The lime prevents acidification of the humus. In rain-free summers you irrigate the compost at intervals of 2 weeks. The freshly prepared compost heats up quickly, but cools down after about 1 month and then drops about one-third of its original height.
The decomposition is quicker if you use the compost after 6 weeks and soak all dry areas with water. For multi-part silos, fill the contents into a second container and mix thoroughly. But the compost also matures if it is not converted. After about 3 months, it turns into a crumbly, dark brown, humus-like mass, which is incorporated flat in the vegetable beds or scattered around ornamental plants. Calculate 10 liters of compost per square meter of soil. The compost can also be used for mulching.
If you want the compost to rest unopened during the winter, cover it with a foil that is weighed down with stones.