Recycling: Make a Compost Heap for Your Garden
Composting works on the same principles. Almost 75 per cent of household waste is compostable. Thus, composting not only saves landfill space, but recycles material that most of us throw away believing to be useless and also saves money on fertilisers.
And of course, we get happy and healthy gardens.
The Basics of Composting
To make a good compost, one needs to have the right carbon-nitrogen ration (see table). If the C content is too high, it will slow down decomposition, and if the N content is too high, it could give out an unpleasant smell and also leach into groundwater, polluting it.
A compost may be 'hot' (aerobic) or 'cold' (anaerobic). A hot compost has to be aerated by turning the pile often to mix in air amongst the composting material. This is the more sought after type of compost as it decomposes faster and gives a better quality product.
A cold compost is advised if you are not in a hurry to obtain your compost product and cannot spare much time for it. It is also called a 'passive' compost as it received less, if any, turning, and thus the decomposition is anaerobic, that is without making use of oxygen.
High N wastes
High C wastes
To be avoided
| Coffee grounds
Fruit wastes and grains
Hair (pet or human)
Seaweed (better rinse well first though)
Weeds (hot piles only)
Corncobs and cornstalks
Nutshells (preferably crushed)
Vegetable stalks and Seeds (hot piles only)
| Coal & coke ash