Organic gardening compost is made through a natural process of decomposing organic materials into something that is extremely beneficial for the soil in your garden.
The process is relatively simple and easy that a lot of organic garden enthusiasts are recommending and encouraging home gardeners to try and start making their own compost piles.
However, many are taken aback by the idea of piling waste and rotting materials in their backyards and are not sure if maintaining a compost heap is suitable for them. There are also some myths and fallacies concerning garden compost that are circulating and are causing wrong information feed about this organic gardening activity.
Here are the most common of them:
1. Compost stinks because it’s made up of rotting materials. A proper distinction must be made first. Bad compost stinks, good compost doesn’t. While it’s true that compost is usually composed of kitchen waste, dead leaves and other organic materials that rots, a bad-smelling compost happens when the pile is too wet, impeding good air circulation within the pile which slows down the decomposition process.
To avoid this, turn the pile regularly to allow air to circulate and make sure to keep the pile moist (not too wet but not too dry either). Another reason for the bad smell is when rotting meats and dead animals (such as rats) are added into the pile. Obviously, the solution is to refrain from doing this.
2. You can add anything that decomposes into the compost bin. Technically speaking, yes, anything that decomposes can be added into your compost bin. But again, it’s a question of whether or not you want to maintain a good compost pile. Not everything that decomposes is beneficial to the pile. Some will even disrupt or delay the process of decomposition and will cause problems along the way.
Meats, fats, oils don’t break down easily and putrefy instead causing foul odors that will attract pests and animals into the compost bin. And if you think that all animal manures can be added into the compost pile, think again. You can’t make a good organic garden fertilizer out of dog and cat poop because the bacteria and viruses present in them can survive the composting process and will most likely pass on to the soil and the plants.
3. Composting is a complex and tedious work. Composting is a natural and manual process. This no just-press-the-button-and-wait procedure and will surely entails manual labor. But it’s far from being a round-the-clock type of work. The most that you will do is turning the pile regularly on a weekly basis to make sure that it has enough moisture, air and heat for the decomposing bacteria to start and maintain their activity.
Composting is not rocket science either, as long as you fully understand the process, and why and how the organic materials decompose. Good understanding will facilitate good learning.
Lastly, organic gardening compost is one, if the most valuable soil amendment that you can put in your garden. Making one is simple but it has no short-cuts. With proper know-how and patience, your efforts will surely be rewarded in the end.