Have you recently started to compost?
Are you not yet sure how to use the compost in different ways?
Would you like to check out some easy and effective ways in which you can use the compost?
If you have started composting already, congratulations! You are already on the green path. Now that you know the basic ways to create your own compost, the next step is to use it in the best possible way. And that is what this article is all about.
In this article, we will help you see how you can know if the compost is ready to be used or not. From the way it should look or feel to how it should smell, we will tell you all. We are also sharing some easy everyday ways in which you can use the ready compost, so just keep reading.
This is how you can know that your compost is good to go
- Colour: The compost should be of a dark, rich colour.
- Texture: If it is ready, it will crumble easily. Also, it will have an even texture, where you will not be able to identify different ingredients that were used to make it. If you feel it is still lumpy, it means the compost is not yet ready to be used.
- Smell: The ready compost will have a sweet and earthy smell, not rotten.
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5 best ways to use finished compost
Here are a few ways in which you can use the finished compost:
Use to enrich/improve soil:
- Using compost in your soil will greatly enrich and improve the quality of the soil.
- The compost in the soil helps to hold its own weight in water. This means that, when you water your plants and want the plants to be able to benefit from it, the compost will help to hold that water in and help the plant make the most of it.
- The compost also helps to create nutrients in the soil, including things such as potassium, phosphate, nitrogen as well as many minerals that are very important and beneficial for the soil.
- Adding compost in the soil makes these nutrients very easily available to the plants, so that they can easily get them through their roots.
- The compost also holds in oxygen in the soil. Compost can help to loosen up any hard soil and add that important amount of moisture in it. This helps the roots of the plants to breathe in better and be able to take in the oxygen through the roots.
Use as a mix-in for potting soil:
- When you add compost to the soil, you ensure that your soil gets only the highest quality nutrients.
- This will also make your plants stronger and reduce their chances of disease.
- It will also boost the production of crop.
- Dig around the soil to mix it up.
- Add the compost and then plant your flower seeds.
- The soil will start to prepare itself and you will see the results by spring time.
Use for making compost tea:
- Compost tea is a natural and nutritious fertilizer that you can give your plants to boost their health.
- Fill 1/3rd of a large bucket with compost. Add an inch or two of water on top.
- Leave this out in sun and air and stir a few times each day for about a week.
- Once ready, strain into a container and use as compost tea.
Use as mulch:
- Add compost around the plants in about a 6 inch diameter.
- This will act as the perfect mulch and retain the moisture in the soil, while keeping weeds away.
Use for growing vegetables:
- You can use the finished or ready compost to grow your own vegetables, such as for growing a cherry tomato plant.
- Once you dig the hole to plant the seeds, add the compost to the bottom of the hole.
- Next, plant the seeds and cover them with compost as well.
- The compost will act as the organic part of the soil. This means that it will form that part of the soil that is made up of things that were once alive.
- During the decomposition process through which the compost goes through, these get broken down with the help of fungi and bacteria.
- This is a natural process which enables the soil to become healthier and eventually support good plant life.
- The microorganisms in the compost will work around the roots of the plant, creating a process known as the soil food web.
- This process helps to bring more nutrients to the plants and in exchange, the plant feeds them.
Is there such a thing as a wrong way to use compost?
More than a wrong way, there are usually some little mistakes happening here and there in the composting process that could slow you down.
5 tips for making the most out of your compost when you use it
Add it to heavy clay-like soil:
- Once the compost is ready, you can add it to any heavy soil that has a clay-like structure.
- Soil that is more like clay is often very wet.
- You can add the compost directly to this type of soil. This will help to improve the structure of the soil.
- It is best to spade in the compost to at least a depth of 6 to 8 inches into the soil.
Add compost in time for best results:
- If you add the compost to your vegetable garden around fall time, it will give the soil enough time to break it in and prepare through the winter months.
- By the time it is March or April, your soil will be ready for you to plant in your vegetables for the kitchen garden.
- If you live in a warmer climate, add compost at least twice a year, once before spring and once before fall. For cooler climates, add it once a year.
Smoothen it out by hand:
- Most people just add the compost and leave it there, but you can make it a bit more effective by spreading it out with your hands.
- This will ensure that the compost is evenly distributed around the area where you want it, right from the start.
Add as a top layer:
- Instead of mixing compost all the way in to the roots part, you can also add more nutrition to your plants that are already blooming.
- All you have to do is add about 1 to 2 inches of compost to the top 3 to 5 inches of soil as a nutritious top layer.
Let the water pipe pass through:
- If you are adding compost to soil where your watering pipe usually passes through, place the drip tape in such a way that some of the water directly drips over the compost area.
- This way, the nutrition from the compost will keep seeping in to the soil, adding more benefits.
Now that you know all the ways in which you can use your compost, we are sure you will find out many uses for it. If this is the first time you are going to try it out, give yourself a little time to see the results from the composting. Thanks from the planet!