3 Tips You Can Afford To Ignore When Composting
I decided to take a different approach for this article and stick my head out there a bit. Instead of telling you everything you need to be doing to create that amazing compost pile, I’m going to talk about some factors that are brought up often but don’t need as much attention as they’re given. Does that make sense?
Suggestion number one: Don’t get caught up in how long it takes for you to get finished compost.
I think this one primarily originates from the sales people behind compost tumblers, and I wish it would die. Whenever you see something that says “achieve finished compost in as little as 4 weeks”, please ignore it. If you put a time constraint on natural processes, you’re going to be let down. Further, there’s so many factors involved in the process that will alter your results as it is. My suggestion is to disregard keeping track of your pile in terms of time…if you set it up right, you’re good to go and that’s that.
Suggestion number two: Don’t spray compost leachate right from the pile on your plants.
I was guilty of this one at first, too. You get a sweet compost tumbler that collects the “tea”, or a multi-tray worm bin and collect the liquid from that. All done, right? Nope. This is actually called compost leachate, not compost tea. If you were to apply this directly to your plants, you will actually hurt them instead of help. Notice how nasty the stuff smells? It needs oxygen. And unsulfured molasses. And an air pump. Don’t be intimidated by the gear, it’s not hard at all… just make sure you know what you’re in for if you actually want to make compost tea.
Suggestion number three: Don’t get caught up with carbon/nitrogen ratio and odors.
Yes, composting involves a bit of science…but unless you’re a total nerd like me, there’s no need to stress the ratio. Tell yourself to triple the amount of browns in comparison to greens and think no harder. Adding extra browns won’t hurt if you decide to do that, too. However, if you go the other way, you’ll end up with really clumpy compost which means there wasn’t enough browns. I know it sounds like I contradicted myself here. The odor factor is extra-strength stupid because if you remotely understand about adding more browns than greens, you’re going to be fine.
So there you have it. There’s my top three items to quit stressing about when it comes to composting. Remember, this is a natural process and it’s supposed to be fun. I may write a second installment of this article based on some questions I received DURING the writing of this article. Stay tuned!
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