Today, there are many who choose to use strictly organic crops in their gardens or seedbeds to obtain natural and healthier products from their plants. Whether you are looking to get a better yield from your plantation or if you simply want to have your plants as strong and healthy as possible, the use of organic fertilizer is a great option, which is especially important in delicate plants and in arid or overexploited soils. .
In this article we bring you all the information about organic compost: what it is, types, benefits and how to do it .
Organic compost: what is it?
Organic compost is actually a general term that refers to any material of animal or plant origin that can be used to provide nutrients and improve soil fertility . Simplifying it a lot, we can say that an organic compost is a substance made with vegetable or animal waste or waste that makes our land better for plants.
However, it is not as simple as mixing any of this waste with the soil or dumping it on it. Organic fertilizers must be properly prepared or they can be harmful to our plants.
Types of organic compost
There are a large number of types of organic fertilizers and ways to make them, however, in this article we are going to leave aside the industrial ones to focus on the most common types of organic fertilizer that you can make and use in your own garden or in your pots. .
- Compost: compost is the most basic of organic fertilizers and also one of the most used because of how easy it is to obtain. To compost you only need plant residues and a place to ferment them for 3 to 5 months.
- Worm humus: this is one of the most nutrient-rich fertilizers out there. It is also very popular since to produce it it is only necessary to get hold of the right worms.
- Wood ashes: If you have a fireplace at home, save the ashes from burned wood. Diluted in water, they are an excellent contribution of phosphorus and potassium to the soil.
- Coffee grounds: the most coffee growers can make the most of their favorite drink if they take advantage of the coffee grounds , since mixed with the earth they provide a large amount of nitrogen, which the plants will appreciate.
- Eggshells: Smelled as finely as possible, crushed and sprinkled eggshells around the base of plants can help keep some pests, such as snails and caterpillars, away, as well as enrich the soil.
- Shredded branches and leaves : Pruning debris and fallen leaves, properly shredded and scattered, are also a great source of nutrients for the soil.
- Manure: this is nothing new, manure has always been one of the most used fertilizers. However, animal waste must be composted before it can be used as manure, and it must come from animals that have not been fed antibiotics.
- Bokashi ob ocashi : this is a variant of compost traditionally used by Japanese farmers, and has its main advantage in that it is much faster than this, since it can be completed in about two weeks. However, it has the disadvantage of requiring chicken manure, to which not everyone has access.
Benefits of organic compost
The benefits that organic fertilizer brings to the soil are many, but the main and most important are the following:
- Improvement of the characteristics of the soil: both the nutrients it contains, its acidity and its water retention capacity. Organic compost helps to recover heavily exploited soils, and even in the long term its effects are more than noticeable.
- Resistance to diseases and pests: by strengthening the microscopic organisms of the soil with the contribution of nutrients, we make the soil, and therefore also the plants, more resistant to the attack of many pests.
- It is totally sustainable: the production of organic compost involves the recycling of substances and products that would otherwise be thrown away, so it is an ecological way to strengthen your plants.
How to make homemade compost
Composting at home is very simple. To do this, follow these instructions and you will easily help your plants.
- Choose a place to compost. Serve a hole in the garden floor, a box out of the way, or even a container of suitable dimensions. It is important that, in the latter case, it is not covered and it has ventilation.
- Gather your organic waste. Ideally, you should limit yourself to plant-based residues, since using meat or excrement could attract flies and other unwanted pests, as well as bad odors.
- Put a layer of green or fresh organic waste, followed by a layer of dry waste (fallen twigs, dry leaves) and finally a layer of soil. You can add more layers like this as you have more waste.
- Stir it once a week, and if you live in a very dry or hot climate, slightly moisten it from time to time, but always without watering it. One sign that your compost production is going well is that it should smell like wet dirt and not rot or anything unpleasant.
If you follow these steps, in about three months in summer or five in winter you will have your compost ready to add to any substrate.