Nothing compares with a fresh layer of organic fertilizer to boost your lawn’s and garden’s health, strength and crops. A thin layer of nutritious compost spread on your lawn – not too thick as you don’t want to smother the grass blades – does wonders to it, especially in summer:
- it will keep the soil nourished;
- it will activate the beneficial bacterial activity in the soil, thus promoting the green, lush growth of your turf;
- it promotes new growth of grass in those brown, dry, thin, unhealthy spots on your lawn.
Moreover, a fresh layer of compost boosts your vegetable crops and adds a plus of health to your landscape. For all these reasons, our lawn care Sycamore IL experts are here to tell you how to make compost on a small scale in your back yard.
1. Collect Brown Materials
Many think that compost consists of rotting piles of food scraps. However, compost is made of three main elements with carbon being the essential one. Brown materials are dry leaves, healthy dry twigs and branches, wood chips and ash, dry fruit peels, dry fruit, cardboard and used paper (but not the glossy type), coffee grounds, and so on. The carbon in these brown materials boost the beneficial bacteria and rotifers to turn these components into a nutritious mush, also absorbing extra moisture and allowing the air to flow inside the compost pile.
2. Collect Green Materials
Green materials contain nitrogen – the second essential ingredient of nutritious compost. The green side of compost consists of freshly mowed grass clippings, fresh fruit peels, some food leftovers, manure, and seaweed, boiled tea bags, egg shells and so on.
Keep in mind that your compost pile should contain 25 times more brown material than green material.
3. Oxygen is the Secret Ingredient
One of the greatest mistakes people do with their compost is that they leave the pile undisturbed to rot. However, instead of turning into nutritious compost, this pile will turn into a useless heap of smelly garbage unless you aerate it. Oxygen is vital to good compost. If you don’t aerate the pile, the beneficial bacteria there will die; if you aerate it too much, the compost will just dry. Ask your lawn care Sycamore IL specialists on how to aerate your compost and how often to avoid many trials and errors.
4. Water Makes the Compost Fertile
Dry compost has little to no use to your lawn and garden. If you want to keep it efficient and fertile, you need to keep it moist. Don’t soak the pile in too much water, as you will only get a liquid mush with no use to anybody. Keep a 40-60% water level in your compost pile for best results. If it looks too liquid, add more brown materials, as their carbon levels will restore the balance.
As a last piece of advice, our lawn care Sycamore IL specialists insist you don’t throw in your compost pile everything that you might deem “organic”. Never put in compost meat or fish leftovers, dairy products or leftovers, used or raw cooking oil, coal, pet food or waste, weeds, dead/diseased fruit or plants.