Turn your green waste into a renewable resource with the help of composting! Thanks to this method, almost half of the waste we produce can be recycled into compost. This is a double benefit for the environment because it allows us to reduce our waste, but also to provide nature with an excellent quality fertilizer.
Compost results from the decomposition of mixed plant or animal materials. In the environment such as forests, this process is completely natural. A plant dies, decomposes through macro and microorganisms and eventually forms a rich humus for the soil. The production of this humus participates in the regeneration of the soil and contributes to the growth of other plants. Composting at home in your garden is the result of the same mechanism. The goal is to recycle your organic waste from home and garden. Gathered in a compost bin, they decompose little by little, this is called "composting". After a while, you will obtain a mixture that will feed your garden and house plants.
HOW TO MAKE COMPOST?
To make your compost, you can buy a ready-to-use composter, build your own, or pile your organic waste in a dedicated area if your garden surface allows it. Whichever container you choose, place your compost in a shady spot to prevent the waste from drying out and to ensure the presence of insects (earthworms, sowbugs).
All organic materials can be composted, but some may take longer to decompose and may require some precautions. To obtain good compost, it's all a matter of balance between wet elements rich in nitrogen (green matter) and dry elements rich in carbon (brown matter). If your compost contains too much green matter, it will tend to rot. If your compost is composed mainly of brown matter, it will decompose very slowly. Ideally, it should contain as much green matter as brown matter. You can alternate layers of each material to ensure a good balance in your compost. To help your waste decompose more quickly, it is advisable to chop or grind the elements before putting it in the compost bin.
Green material: grass cuttings, fruit and vegetable peelings and waste, fresh vegetables, coffee grounds, tea, wilted flowers, weeds...
Brown material: dried stems and leaves, paper, newspaper, unprinted cardboard, paper towels, brush, wood chips, hay, small rodent litter
Other elements can be composted, but in small quantities: eggshells (they must be crushed), cooked food scraps, wood fire ashes, citrus peelings, dairy products, pieces of meat or fish.
However, some materials are not compostable and should be avoided, such as edible oils and fats, charcoal ashes (barbecue type), cat and dog litter, vacuum cleaner dust, chemically treated waste, seeds and cores, climbing plants, treated plants, disposable diapers.
To keep your compost in good condition, a few key words: alternate, aerate, mix, and keep it moist.
Alternating: as explained above, green matter is rich in nitrogen and brown matter in carbon. Green materials decompose fairly quickly and bring water and food to your compost. Conversely, brown materials provide good structure to the compost and decompose more slowly. These two elements are therefore complementary for the smooth running of your compost and must be present in fair quantities.
Aerate and mix: it is important to aerate your compost to provide air and to oxygenate the micro-organisms inside. Without regular aeration, a bad odour can come out of it, especially if there is too much green matter. Each time you add material, mix your compost. This allows the micro-organisms, already present in the old material, to nibble the new material more easily.
Ensure moisture: monitor the moisture content of your compost regularly to ensure that decomposition takes place. If your compost is too dry, microorganisms die and the decomposition process is stopped. Sprinkle your compost with water or bring in wet waste to hydrate it. In the opposite case, if your compost is too wet, bad odours will develop. Add a little brown matter to rebalance it.
WHEN TO USE HIS COMPOST?
When your compost seems homogeneous, lumpy, odourless and without the presence of many vertebrates, it is ready to use! A mature compost is obtained after about 6 months. If there is still some waste that has not yet completely decomposed, sieve your compost and put it back in the compost bin so that it will finish decomposing with the next cycle. You can now use your compost and put it at the foot of your various plants, your vegetable garden, as mulch for your perennials, for your houseplants...
THE BENEFITS OF COMPOST
The advantages of compost are numerous and will make you want to try it!
Compostable waste represents nearly 30% of the weight of our bins, which is equivalent to 45 and 60 kg of waste per year. Their treatment is an economic and environmental cost due to their transport, collection, incineration... So let's recycle this waste! It is a small gesture not negligible for the environment but also for your wallet.
By recycling your organic waste, you will reduce the weight of your bin, which will limit incineration. You will get a free compost that will be very useful for your garden and will save you money. Compost improves the composition of the soil by respecting the biodiversity of the earth. It is also the ideal refuge for garden fauna because of the heat it gives off. Hedgehogs, toads, shrews, voles will find their happiness in the colder season.
COMPOSTING IN AN APARTMENT, IS THAT POSSIBLE?
Balcony or no balcony, a compost in an apartment, it's possible! You can choose to compost your waste with a vermicomposter or with the "bokashi" method. These composts take up little space, about the size of a food processor, and are odourless!
As its name suggests, the vermicomposter allows the transformation of your organic waste with the help of earthworms. The idea of having worms in the kitchen may cool down some of them, but these little worms stay safely in their compost bin and no bad odours are released.
This type of compost has several layers for storing food and for harvesting the compost. It also has a tap or bin to collect the "compost juice", a liquid fertilizer to be diluted with water that you can use to bring plenty of good things to your plants. At the end of the worm composting process, you will get your compost ready to use! You can buy this type of composter directly from the store that comes with the necessary components or make your own.
Bokashi is a composting method that comes to us from Japan, and means "fermented organic matter". This process decomposes your waste using a mixture of wheat bran, molasses and especially micro-organisms to be sprinkled on each addition of new waste. The bokashi, just like the vermicomposter, allows you to obtain a liquid fertilizer approximately every 5 days. Once your compost is completely filled with waste, leave it closed for 2 weeks while continuing to empty the liquid fertilizer regularly. After these 15 days, the material obtained does not seem to have changed to the naked eye, but the decomposition process has been completed! This material is an excellent addition to the soil. It can be mixed with compost or buried in the soil. If you don't have a garden, you can share it with your family and friends or donate it to a collective garden.
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