Compost is like dirty gold for homesteaders that know how to create and use it right.
Anything that is free and improves your way of life is a homesteaders dream. Compost meets both of those requirements and requires a low amount of effort at the same time. If you are gardening without composting, you are missing out!
Your garden simply can’t reach its full potential if it doesn’t have all the nutrients that it needs. Fertilizer can solve that problem but it is expensive and typically a chemically created substance. Compost is the natural way to achieve the same results all on your own. It’s like spoiling your soil and daring the plants not to explode.
We have even had success selling our compost on the road in front of our house. We fill our empty gran bags with compost and put them on the road for $5 a bag. They go pretty quick if I get them out there soon enough in the spring.
Compost is nutrient rich soil made from unwanted kitchen, certain animal manure, and garden scraps. When watered, the nutrients are washed into the roots of your plants, giving them a boost.
Compost is created by putting a mixture of organic scraps in a pile to sit, turning the pile occasionally. The natural microbes eat away are the mixtures until only super-dirt remains. It’s a complete natural process and can be expedited if you do your homework and balance the mixture well.
To start composting, all you need is:
Nitrogen Based Greens:
Carbon Based Browns:
The first step is obviously to get started by making a pile somewhere. You can use a compost bin, dig a whole, or simply pile it away from your house (it will attract unwanted visitors).
You will need to keep adding water so that it has the consistency of a sponge. If the pile is dry and dusty, the composting will stop until you add more water. The same will happen if you add too much water, so find that sweet spot in the middle for the best results.
Turn and mix the pile once a week to help aerate the pile and speed up the process. The more air you give the pile, the fast it will decompose and become useable manure
One the pile looks like dark black soil with a sweet smell, it is ready to spread. You can just spread it around the plants you want to feed, or just spread it across the top. If you haven’t planted yet, you can even spread it and till it into the soil for best results.