How to Reuse and Compost Garden Waste?
Most people are familiar with the idea of making compost from kitchen and garden waste, but often they’re not aware of its importance for the environment. The compost can be used for many purposes in your garden with a good number of benefits, so if you’re into organic gardening, you should start to composting.
Here are some facts on garden waste recycling you should know:
Reduction in Global Warming
When large amounts of garden waste are left to decompose naturally in landfills, they produce harmful gases. Among the gases produced is methane which is a greenhouse gas that is known to be more powerful than CO2.
This harmful gas is released to the atmosphere eventually causing harm to the environment. It as well contributes to Global warming.
Reduces the Amount of Waste to Landfill
Landfills contribute to environmental degradation. This can be attributed to the fact that landfills release harmful gases to land and rivers. By recycling our garden waste, we reduce the amount of waste taken to the landfills and in one way or another participates in taking good care of our environment.
Frees up Land
Landfills take a big parcel of land which could otherwise be used for other purposes. With tons of waste being produced from households daily, most landfills are almost filled up.
This can only be achieved if we reduce the amount of waste taken there by recycling waste from our homes and gardens. This practice will not only reclaim land, but it will also reduce the cost and save money.
It Creates Quality Compost
Compost made from garden waste has good quality because disease and pest rarely survive in it. Moreover, it increases farm yields and better quality crops because the soil is moisturized and contain all the necessary nutrients.
Reduction of Odors
There are odors produced in landfill which are harmful. Recycling the waste in our gardens reduce the amount of odors produced thus taking care of the atmosphere.
We asked Liam Kerr from homegarden.org.uk a well-known gardening company from London for some tips and advice on composting. Here is what he shared with us:
Composting is a natural way of recycling. It biodegrades garden wastes like leaves, small branches, flowers, weeds, and hedge trimmings and transforms them into beneficial fertilizers. Composting can easily be made at home, but if it looks engaging to you, you can take it to a garden waste recycling point near your home.
Importance of Compost
- Compost is used as a fertilizer because it provides plants with essential natural nutrients.
- Another function of composting is that it reduces the use of chemical fertilizers. By producing your compost, you can make your own natural fertilizer which is free from chemicals. Furthermore, you reduce the cost and time used in purchasing fertilizer from garden centers.
- Compost also supports the production of bacteria and fungi that creates humus which is a rich nutrient material. In addition, it helps in diseases control as compost is not a favorable condition for pest to multiply.
Benefits of compost made from garden waste to gardens and farms
It helps the soil to have better water retention capacity and nutrients. Hence, improving the structure of the soil. Additionally, it maintains a balanced PH of the soil.
Another benefit of compost made from garden waste is that it increases crop production and grazing fields. Likewise, good soil structure supports the penetration of roots resulting in stronger crops.
Use of compost in your garden leads to a reduction in the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizer. It is as well made up of all the nutrients like phosphorus nitrogen and potassium. These nutrients are necessary for proper plant growth.
How to Make Your Garden Farm Waste Compost?
At the basic level, the composting process requires making a heap of green waste like grass, leaves and food scraps also known as (wet organic matter). Home gardens. The next step is to wait for the breakdown of the material into compost for a period of months.
Every person knows that it is better to compost your vegetable scraps, fruits, and other biological material than to send them to the city dump. Because they would turn to methane gas.
One factor people don’t put into consideration when coming up with a composite pile is how long it will take for the green waste to turn into ripe compost.
This method should be used when you don’t need much compost and not in a hurry to use it. It is, therefore, an easy but slow method of composting.
You can start by collecting garden waste from your garden and kitchen like vegetable potato peels and let them decompose naturally. The only work you will need to do is mixing it up regularly for good results.
The process of composting green waste and stabilizing manure usually takes six months. With this type of composting, you need to mix the materials and not layering them. Also, consider the location of the compost site as it should not be stationed far from a water point. When making the pile, you should not exceed measurement of four feet by four feet.
The reason for making a smaller pile is for easy mixing of the materials. Also, you should not forget to make it reachable from one side to ease the mixing from ground level. A composite pile can be bought or made at home with different materials like wood or shipping pallets.
Materials used can be classified as green and brown materials. The green materials have large amounts of nitrogen while the brown ones are high in carbon. The reason for using green material is because they provide protein for the micro bugs, while on the other hand, the brown ones provide energy.
The green typical materials are:
- Green leaves
- Leftover fruits from the garden
- Weeds (it’s advisable to cut down weeds before they produce seeds)
- Fresh grass clipping s(green)
- Kitchen scrap fruit/vegetables
Brown typical materials are:
- Dried grass
- Stems, twigs, and cornstalks
- Sawdust in small amounts
On a weekly basis, it is advisable to make a thorough mixing of the piles by use of garden fork moving the top layer inside and the other way round. By repeatedly mixing, you allow oxygen into your pile. This makes the pile have an earthy smell and not stink.
Once in a while, check on the moisture level and try adding water when needed. You should not add much water because this leads to a reduction in the amount of oxygen and results in a foul Odor. A good indication of a well decomposing compost is that it feels wet spongy and only allows drops when squeezed.