Organic gardening compost is matter that consists of natural decaying substances like grass clippings, fallen leaves and rotting vegetables (from the kitchen). When composting, it is said that you should feed the soil, not the plants. The plants are able to take care of themselves; they get their nutrients from the soil, so it is essential that you provide the soil with the proper nutrients for the plants to consume.
Just about any organic material can be used for a compost pile, which needs a proper ratio of carbon-rich materials or “browns” and natural nitrogen-rich materials or “greens”.
Dried leaves, straw and wood chips can be used for the browns. While the greens can be made up of grass clippings and kitchen scraps. The ideal ratio would be 25 brown parts to 1 green part. You should also add a small amount of soil from your garden to your compost to get it going.
To build your compost pile you need to start with a layer of your browns, then add a layer of your greens, then a layer of soil. You also need to add moisture to these layers, don’t drown them though, just add enough water to dampen them. Continue this layering till your organic gardening compost pile is about 3 feet high and 3 feet wide.
Turn your mound of compost materials about once a week or once every two weeks. Bring the middle of the pile out to the edges and bring the outer edges of the pile to the middle. Seeing steam coming out of your pile when turning it lets you know that everything is going as it should. Remember to not let your compost pile get dry, if it does it will cease to decompose properly.
Earthworms will find your organic gardening compost on their own but if you want to speed up the process you can buy some at a fishing bait store and add them to your pile. Building or buying a compost bin can help keep your pile neat and tidy and make the job easier, especially if you get a rotating bin, but they aren’t necessary.
When your organic gardening compost is ready to be used it will be a sweet-smelling, rich, almost black material. When it reaches this state you can mix it with your regular garden soil or if you like you can replace the bulk of your garden soil with this incredibly rich and nutrient dense soil!
Watch the video below to get a visual of what composting looks like and begin making your own organic gardening compost today!