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For natural fertilizer we mean compost obviously, the one obtained from crushed and decomposed vegetable residues, the oldest and most natural fertilizer of the world. Like no other fertilizer, 'homemade' compost returns the right nutrients and bioelements to the soil that your plants need.
Anyone who has a vegetable garden or a little garden has the possibility, but in my opinion also the duty, to equip a corner for composting using scraps from mowing and pruning. There are at least three reasons for doing so:
- produce the best possible natural fertilizer for your plants, because it contains exactly the same substances as they are made of;
- avoid having to load the scraps into the car to take them to the municipal pitch. We remind you that garden owners are obliged to dispose of the cut material and that this cannot be abandoned in the fields;
- save money on the purchase of fertilizer.
Given this, how to do it? Let's start with basic chemistry and let's say you get good natural fertilizer when, during composting, the ratio between carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) is optimized. The best values for a balanced C / N ratio range from 25: 1 to 30: 1.
Moving on to practice, the above depends on the right blend of green and brown. The 'green' plant residues (grass and leaves) contain nitrogen, the 'brown' ones (branches) contain carbon: by mixing these two components, a natural fertilizer balanced.
The problem is that the decomposition times are different and the branches must be shredded before putting them in the composter. Buying a garden shredder can be a good investment: there are many types for all needs and can also be purchased online, saving a lot. On IdeeGreen I presented an electric shredder that I had the opportunity to use with satisfaction.
Personally I agree that good garden compost for the production of natural fertilizer it is done following 10 rules, here they are.
- Respect the correct proportion between 'green' and 'brown', that is, between waste containing nitrogen and waste containing carbon.
- Do not use a hole in the ground for composting or a closed container. Compost needs air.
- Do not place the composter on a stone or concrete base. Another thing that compost needs is contact with the earth, where earthworms and microorganisms penetrate.
- Speaking of earthworms, these are the best friends of your compost and it helps to attract them with some treats they like: elderberry, onion skin, chive scraps, tea and coffee grounds.
- Make sure the composter is tidy. As a base layer, arrange the chopped material in a coarser way for about 20 cm in height. Put some finely chopped mixed material on top of it, for example shredded leaves.
- Deposit the cut grass without compacting it: it could rot and generate mold.
- Put the kitchen scraps in the composter in moderation and make a selection. For details, I refer you to our article How to make home composting. Also remember that kitchen scraps attract animals, so it is good to always cover them with a layer of other material.
- Keep an eye on the humidity of the composter: microorganisms need a humid environment and if the compost is too dry it can be wet.
- But do not wet it too much: excess moisture could cause the compost to rot, resulting in the production of unwanted mold and fungi.
- Cover the composter to shelter them from precipitation and keep it in dim light: not always under the blazing sun but not even in a place that is too cold and humid.
Remember that good, ready-made compost does not smell - healthy compost smells and looks the same as fertile soil and is the best. natural fertilizer that you can give to your garden or vegetable garden.
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