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Productivity is largely determined by the fertility of the soil, which is known to every gardener who try to improve the land on his plot from year to year, but noticeable improvements require several years.
The traditional method of fertilizing the earth
In order to improve the quality of the soil, annual fertilizer is practiced by introducing a large amount of food waste, manure, fallen leaves, seaweed, mineral fertilizers into the soil. Using the same fertilizers, their effectiveness can be significantly increased if a compost pit is built in the summer cottage.
DIY compost pile
The pile is a kind of "melting pot" in which biochemical reactions occur, which require a certain temperature and humidity regime. Therefore, to neutralize the external facts of the environment, it is necessarily covered.
If the heap is formed immediately, then for shelter use the earth, leaves, dead grass.
If you plan to regularly add compost to it, it is better to cover it with black polyethylene.
Too large heap sizes in the country will lead to overheating, from which microorganisms die, without which the whole idea loses its meaning. It is microorganisms that take the job of processing organic matter, under the influence of the products of their vital activity, biochemical reactions are accelerated. By the way, compost ripening is particularly fast during the summer months.
Nothing complicated in making a compost pile with your own hands, no. It is only necessary to choose a suitable place for its location on the site. It is best to cook the mixture in a wooden box that you can put together on your own. But you can also buy a compost box, usually they are made of plastic, equipped with a lid and doors, so that you can mix.
The box is recommended to be placed in a shady place, in the most secluded corner of the garden. Microorganisms in compost emerge from the ground, so if the soil at the location of the heap is poisoned by chemicals, then the substance will ripen very slowly. When laying the compost heap, which can accelerate the microflora processes, you can add it artificially, for which use bioconcentrates from soil microorganisms (Baikal, Renaissance, etc.).
The proper organization of compost accumulation will ensure high-quality fertilizer after 3-4 months, while under normal conditions this will take several years.
Compost Heap Dimensions
The correct pile should be sized so that it creates the desired humidity and temperature conditions. The optimal dimensions are 1.2-1.5 m with a length of at least 1.5 m.
A smaller pile will lose moisture, it will not be able to warm enough so that all reactions proceed at a normal speed, so the maturation process will inevitably be delayed, although the quality of the final product may not be affected.
What to put in a compost heap
The highest quality compost is obtained with a wide variety of used organic waste, then its composition will be richer in minerals. But it is important to observe the correct ratio of nitrogen and carbon. Carbon is the main building material for organic molecules, it is found in plants, and especially in sawdust, straw, stems. Nitrogen is necessary, as it serves as food for microorganisms. In compost, nitrogen is supplied along with manure, bone meal, bird droppings, grass, pea and bean stalks.
In order for chemical processes to start in the mass for compost, the ratio of nitrogen to carbon must be from 1 to 10, to 1 to 20, excess quantities will be released in the form of carbon dioxide and ammonia. For high-grade fertilizer, the presence of not only organic, but also mineral components is important, therefore, superphosphates, dolomite flour, complex mineral fertilizers must be regularly added to the mixture. Having passed through the "crucible" of compost, all these substances will bring more benefits than if they are directly applied to the soil.
Some plants can accelerate the rate of reactions leading to the formation of humus, for example, medicinal valerian, pharmacy chamomile, yarrow, dandelion.
What can not be put in a compost heap
Do not throw sick plants, weeds with seeds ready for dispersal here. Do not treat the compost heap as a landfill. It is strongly recommended not to lay in it:
- poorly ground materials (particles larger than 0.6 cm);
- fruit bones and seeds (rodents will begin to visit), cheese, meat, eggs (so as not to attract animals);
- dog and cat litter;
- spoiled foods.
How to make compost
There is a certain method of compost preparation, following which a high-quality substance is obtained in the shortest possible time. Its main requirements are as follows:
1. Mix several components and then lay out in layers.
2. At the bottom of the pile, pour a 30 cm soil layer, then a 10-centimeter layer of previously dried and shredded grass, on top 1 layer of leaves and weeds, each 25 cm thick.
3. It is often necessary to bring food waste into the compost pile, while avoiding the ingress of bones and fats.
4. Each new layer needs to be moistened with water.
5. Systematically add mineral fertilizers, bone meal, manure.
6. Constantly shift the pile, make sure that it does not dry out, it was enough, but not excessively moistened. For work, it is better to have a separate set of shovels and forks.
At some point, the compost will be ready, it is not difficult to determine by its color and consistency - the ripened mixture will have a loose structure, the smell of forest land and will turn dark brown.
Compost of fallen leaves
Separately, I would like to note the compost of fallen leaves, which is also known as "leaf land." The basis of this species is fallen leaves, which, before falling, lose minerals, so that only hemicellulose and lignin remain in their tissue. These substances decompose very slowly, although they are one of the most valuable components of humus. When arranging a compost heap from leaves, one should know that they have another difficult to decompose substance - tannin. It has an astringent-disinfecting property, which greatly inhibits compost formation processes. Large concentrations of tannin are found in beech and oak leaves; the content of tannin is especially high in chestnut, willow and plane tree leaves. Because of this, the foliage of these tree species is not suitable for compost and can only be used to shelter heaps.
DIY compost pile
Compost from leaves ripens longer than usual, you have to wait at least 2 years. Its value is that it gives the soil water-retaining properties and improves its quality. Although it loses in nutrition to the usual, in its bowels microbes emerge that can decompose lignin and hemicellulose, which is very useful for many garden plants whose roots are in symbiosis with mushroom microflora.
Another way to create a compost box
This method was sent by our reader Irina Konovalova. Here is how she describes the construction of a compost box: “I will limit myself to a description: 4 metal rods from reinforcement are driven into the ground, and rails (boards) with drilled holes are strung on them. Quick, easy, convenient. ”You can see the photo below.