Compost manure could be the best thing to ever happen to your garden as a homesteader. You recycle your kitchen wastes and animal manure saving you the cost of disposing of them and, at the same time creating organic nutrients for your garden. Tough economic times call for strict measures to reduce wastage and save on money. In this article, you will learn ways you can save money by recycling your “wastes” to enrich your soil.
A study by Oregon State University defines composting as the process of stabilizing soil organic matter into valuable organic wastes that can be used as manure in farms. Composts manure contributes heavily to the creation of impressive soil structure while also being used to smother weeds and plant pathogens. We will explain in detail why using compost manure not only saves you money and money-related stress, but it also increases the overall health of your soil.
Why do you need compost manure for your Garden?
Below are some important reasons why you should opt for compost manure instead of synthetic manure from the industry. They include:
Compost Manure Contains Macro And Micronutrients Which Synthetic Fertilizer Lacks
According to journals.plos.org, the use of manure cropping systems in the North China Plain has been responsible for the production of safe organic food like wheat for a very long time. The area is responsible for the massive production of milk, eggs, and meat available to feed the large Chinese. Most farms in the region used to use animal manure and compost manure for plants micro and macronutrients. However, over the years, the farmers started adopting chemical fertilizer on their farms. Consequently, nutrients like iron, zinc, potassium, and manganese decreased in the soil leading to reduced food production.
Compost Manure Takes Time To Release Nutrients To The Soil, Unlike Industrial Fertilizers
Compost manure takes time to release its nutrients to the soil. Therefore, the rate of mineral absorption for the same is gradual. Artificial manures release their nutrients fast. If the soil texture is not right, such minerals may be carried away in case of heavy rains. They could also get leached far deep beyond plant roots.
However, compost manure will save you as a homesteader as it’s easy to make using plants remains, weed, kitchen waste, and animal excrements. The minerals from the compost take time to get absorbed by plants, which is a good thing as the plants can use it for an extended period.
It Increases The Ability Of The Soil To Retain Fertilizer Better
Compost manure increases the ability of the soil to retain fertilizer better, especially in sandy soil. In case of heavy rains, fertilize finds it’s self in waterways after being washed by the rainwater. Adding compost manure to your land not only increases the soil’s nutrients levels but also ensures the ground retains its nutrients. The process is vital for homesteaders as you will kill two birds with one stone, especially on raised lands.
Composts Regulate Soil PH Levels
Composts bring the soil PH levels to the optimum range for nutrients by lowering or increasing the soil PH, buffering the soil, making it easy for soil macro and microorganism to exist better. If your land has a severe PH imbalance, lime or Sulphur treatment is recommended. Most soil microorganism favors neutral PH for excellent work, especially when it comes to producing nutrients. The organism, like the nitrogen-fixing rhizobia bacteria, helps in breaking up nitrogen to Ammonia, which is ideal nutrients for legumes. Manure provides the best PH for such a necessary process to happen.
Composts hold soil particles together for improved soil structure. Whether explain how
Improves The Water And Nutrients Retention In Sandy Soil
Compost manure galvanizes soil particles, especially on sandy soils. Compost manure binds with the soil particles together. The process makes the soil to retain water and nutrients better compared to earth without compost manure. As a homesteader, you must help improve your gardens soil texture by feeding it with compost manure frequently.
Loosens Soil Particles In Clay Soil For Natural Root Spread, Also Make It’s Easy For Water To Drain And Air To Penetrate
Compost manure will work wonders with clay soil. Mixing clay soil with humus improves its texture by increasing the spaces between soil particles. Also, the clay soil will be aerated appropriately and have the best moisture level for best root penetration. The best way to enhance a clay soil for farming is through adding humus to it.
Changes in Soil Structure
Adding compost manure to garden soil is very crucial to the change of soil structure. Fertilizer reduces soil erosion and spattering on plants. For this reason, when it rains, soil with more humus will less likely experience splash erosion as the ground is more compact. Reducing sputtering reduces the spread of soil-borne plant diseases. As a homesteader, you will be preventing disease spread as well as reducing soil erosion by applying compost manure.
Enhances The Absorption Of The Nutrients By Plants But Reduces Erosion
Compost comes with an ability to hold the soil nutrients tight enough to prevent soil erosion. It also has contains the nutrients lose sufficient for plants to absorb them easily. Garden soil with enough humus will produce more yields compared to the one that uses only organic manure since compost manure releases its nutrients to the ground slowly. Plants benefit from it better compared to industrial fertilizer.
Softens The Soil Reducing Its Compactness Making It Easy For You To Work With
Composts support and come with microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, insects, worms responsible for healthy plant growth. The organism also helps in breaking down soil particles, making it soft. The burrowing also increases air spaces in the soil allowing the plant’s roots to spread quickly. As a result, it will be easier for you to work with softer ground, especially when preparing for a seedbed.
Compost Microorganism Breaks Down Nutrients Into Absorbable Nutrients
The compost manure has micro and macro-organisms responsible for the breakdown of nutrients in the soil to absorbable units. Others, like those found in the root nodules of legumes, convert nitrogen in the air into plant nutrients. Since industrial fertilizers lack such an organism, a homesteader should use compost manure in their garden. Consequently, not only do you stand the chance of more than doubling your yields but also get the benefit of improving your soil quality.
Soil With Compost Hosts More Beneficial Insects’ Worms And Microorganisms Responsible For Breaking Down The Ground To Keep It Aerated
Insects and worms found in compost manure break your garden soil down, increasing its aeration, air, and water penetration. Compost manure allows such microorganisms to thrive better compared to synthetic fertilizer. Soil with such microbes will be soft and will allow plants to thrive better. As a homesteader, it’s, therefore, necessary to apply manure as it also helps a lot, especially on gardens that are utilized the whole year-round.
Composts ensure soil particles remain together without disintegrating. As a result, it’s able to retain water better, reducing runoffs. Runoffs cause eutrophication.
Compost Manure Encourages Healthy Root Speared By Reduces Water Runoff
Plants’ roots are vital in reducing water runoff. Compost manure keeps the soil particles held better compared to soil with little or no fertilizer. Plants can access a substantial nutrients pool thanks to the excellent soil texture. This is made possible by the fact that the roots can easily penetrate the soil to obtain readily available nutrients.
Reduces The Effects Of Synthetic Fertilizers
Synthetic fertilizer may negatively affect the soil if it’s used without compost manure for a very long time. The industrial fertilizer comes with chemicals that may raise or lower the PH value of the soil. High levels of PH may affect the microorganism in the ground. Some plants become susceptible to diseases and organisms when soil PH becomes poor.
Reduces The Effects Of Chemical Pesticides
Prolonged use of chemical pesticides could hurt your soil. The pesticides have chemicals that could lower or raise the soil PH levels. They could also affect insects and microorganisms that could keep pests and diseases away. Therefore, if you love your garden, always ensure you use synthetic fertilizers but also use compost manure as an alternative to manure. As a result, you will neutralize the effects of pesticides and promote the growth of soil microorganisms.
A 5% Increase In Humus Increase The Soil Water Retention Capacity By Four Times
As a homesteader, if you increase the compost manure you use on your soil, you could increase its retention ability by four times, especially on sandy soil. The practice is beneficial, especially for crops that need a lot of water like tomatoes. Others like potatoes benefit by having enough room to increase in size.
Tools You Need For Making Compost
You require several tools and implements to create a compost pit or heap successfully. Since it involves carrying the compost materials to the compost site, you need a wheelbarrow for that. You also need a compost fork or the pitchfork for turning the materials. A shovel or spade will also come in handy, especially when adding materials like soil and sawdust. You will also use it to add animal excrement to the mixture. Next, you will need a hose and a spray nozzle. Compost has to be more than 40-60% wet to decompose appropriately to manure. You will, therefore, need a hose and a vent to water the mixture.
Mix In Brown and Green Composts Ingredients
The compost ingredients contain brown materials to represent the dried mixture and the green, which are green materials that have high moisture content. The browns and the green may be mixed with animal excrement as part of the compost. Adding water to the mixture increases the moisture content of the compost.
Woody plant trimmings
Coffee grounds and filters
Leafy plant trimmings
Feathers fur and hair
What Should You Keep Of the Compost Manure?
Sometimes, people confuse a compost pit to a trash area. As a result, they end up being disposed of off to pit. However, some of them could be detrimental to the quality of humus provided. Below is a list of such materials. They include
Ashes From Barbecues
Contains sulfur oxides and other chemicals that could affect your soil negatively
Ashes From Wood Stove And Fireplace
You can use the ashes if your soil is acidic to reduce the PH. However, if the soil is alkaline, they avoid using the ash as it will increase alkalinity.
Disease Infested Plant Materials
These materials may contain pathogens and pests that could affect the plant negatively
Kitchen Wastes Like Meat, Bones, Grease, Fats, Oils And Waste Milk
They could attract rodents and even wild animals
Human And Animal Wastes
Human and animal droppings may contain pathogens that could persist even composting without decomposition
Weeds With Seed Heads
Some seed weed could persist even after putting the leafy foliage to the pit.
Tips for A Speedy Compost Making
You can regulate the speed with which you make your compost, depending on the urgency. If you don’t urgently need fertilizer, you can always delay its maturity. However, if you need it soon, below are ways you can use to speed it up.
- Increase The Surface Area Of Your Composts Materials
You can increase the surface area by cutting the materials into tiny pieces.
- Increase The Moisture Levels
Moisture makes it easy for a compost heap to cook. You need the material to be 40-60% wet.
- Air The Compost
Compost depends on a microorganism to break the materials to humus. If you limit the air supply, the organism will die, halting the decomposition process.
The benefits of having compost manure are overwhelming for any homesteader. Compost is not only responsible for improving your soil’s nutrients value but also its structure. You will even realize that the soil retains water better while offering the roots better aeration and penetration.