How to arrange the compost pile more conveniently and speed up the preparation of organic fertilizer

Compost problems

Probably, none of the gardeners doubts the benefits of compost - almost everyone prepares it in one way or another, only in different ways. In addition, in such conditions, compost takes a long time to prepare - at least until the next season it will definitely not be approached.

In general, you have four problems:

  • it is better to somehow disguise the compost pile / pit so as not to frighten others, and it will be more pleasant for you yourself;
  • you need to do something so that there is no smell and flies;
  • it would be nice not to waste the space that the compost heap or pit takes;
  • if possible, it is desirable to accelerate the maturation of the compost.

Compost disguise

The best option is to enclose the compost containers with a wall of planted plants. Unpretentious and fast-growing tall or curly decorative perennials, for example, hops, maiden grapes, are ideal for this purpose. The trellis you place them on will be pretty good at masking the compost pile.

How to get rid of flies and odors?

With regard to flies, the only and reliable way out is to immediately sprinkle all kitchen waste with some kind of organic matter and periodically with lime, then you will not see any flies.

As for aromas, in general, compost should not exude a strong smell if all processes in it develop properly. An odor problem usually occurs when the material in the compost heap becomes too moist and compacted. Shaking the compost with a pitchfork will help reduce excess moisture and density. It also does not hurt to add a little lime to the compost (to remove the odor) and add dry leaves (the leaves will absorb excess moisture). In addition, it is useful to know that ammonia odor appears only in compost where the carbon-nitrogen ratio is disturbed. In this case, it is necessary to add carbon-rich components to the compost: sawdust, paper, straw, and crushed coal. It is clear that it is wiser to add such components in parallel with other components in order to avoid the appearance of odors completely.

How not to lose usable space?

If the compost is prepared in a heap or in some containers (fenced containers, old barrels, etc.) that are not in full shade, then it is quite possible to plant some greens or vegetables on such compost. What exactly to plant will depend on the amount of light and how soon you need the contents of the compost heap.

With good lighting, and provided that you are not going to disturb the compost in the summer, you can plant zucchini or pumpkins on it, which will grow very well in a warm and fertile compost bed. In less light, it makes sense to sow fairly early maturing green crops, such as dill, lettuce, leafy turnips, or garden cress. Greens, of course, are also photophilous, but they can yield crops even with some lack of light. If the illumination is sorely lacking, then planting something, of course, is completely pointless.

It is worth noting that in the case of using compost containers as warm mini-beds, the compost is prepared much faster. On the one hand, because such a bed remains open from above, and as a result, anaerobic processes proceed better in it. On the other hand, by planting vegetables or herbs in containers, you willy-nilly will be forced to water the plants regularly, which will also benefit the compost being prepared.

But then another problem arises. If you planted a compost heap with plants, then you won't be able to throw fresh organic waste into it. Therefore, it is worth taking into account the traditional recommendations on the need to create on the site not one, but three (it is possible and more, if barrels act as such heaps) compost heaps. If this is your case, and you act in accordance with the standard recommendations - that is, one year you fill one heap, the second - another one, etc., then you can quite safely plant two older heaps with plants. With this approach, it is more profitable to plant heat-loving pumpkin crops on a warmer last year's heap, in which composting processes are actively going on, and cabbage, beets or greens can be planted on the one before last year.

However, there is one more way, perhaps even the best one - every year you can make not one big pile, but several small and consistently plant different crops on them. Here are the benefits of this approach:

  • the planting area will not disappear (very impressive with the traditional three-year compost production);
  • there will be practically no smell and flies, since a little time will pass from the moment the heap is created until the plants are planted on it;
  • the compost will be prepared very quickly, and within a month or a month and a half after planting, organic residues will turn into real humus;
  • there is practically no need to allocate an area for such compost heaps, since small containers with compost can be placed in any vacant place on the site.

As for the containers themselves, the easiest and cheapest way is to use old leaky barrels as such. You will need 3-4 such barrels, you can even more - it all depends on what crops you are going to plant on them, since the compost itself is prepared very quickly in the hot summer period. If you plant long-growing crops, for example, cabbage, then there should be more barrels, if fast-growing, for example, salad greens, then they need less. For example, I usually plant potatoes and cabbage in "spring" compost barrels, and sow green crops in "summer" ones.

Barrels should be without a bottom and with small holes for ventilation. For aesthetic reasons (and also in terms of durability), you can paint them with paint (preferably dark, since the dark color of the container guarantees a constant elevated temperature inside, which shortens the composting time). However, black paint should not be used in order to avoid overheating of the root system of plants planted in barrels. Ventilation holes, first of all, at the bottom of the containers are mandatory, since they provide constant access to oxygen inside, which accelerates the decomposition of organic matter

This composting option is very convenient. Why? It's simple. The containers are filled with organic matter in turn, and, as a rule, when filling the third barrel in hot weather and sufficient humidity, there will already be semi-decomposed compost inside the first one, which can theoretically be used. There is an obvious acceleration of the compost preparation process - it will no longer take several months, and even more so three years (as in the classic version). In small containers and in hot weather, the compost can be completely ready even in 1.5-2 months, however, provided there is sufficient moisture. And within a month, the compost fully reaches the state of semi-decomposition, when it can already be safely used, for example, for mulching plantings or for introducing trees and shrubs into the root zone.

How to accelerate the maturation of compost?

In the previous section, we briefly touched on the problem of accelerating the maturation of compost. However, in addition to planting plants on the compost and dyeing the compost containers dark, there are several other techniques that can be used to speed up the maturation of the compost. For example, it makes sense to incorporate ordinary earthworms into the compost, and the composting process will be significantly accelerated. By the way, plants planted on compost will also feel more comfortable after that.

In addition, when filling the compost heap with organic waste, a number of rules should be followed:

  • add all materials in a crushed form (the surface available for the action of soil microorganisms increases);
  • mix organic materials well with each other (a more uniform distribution of carbon-nitrogen components is ensured);
  • Use only rapidly decomposing materials in mini-compost heaps (weeded grass with soil fragments, sawdust, kitchen waste), and materials such as needles, shavings and branches that take a longer time to decompose should be introduced when forming high ridges.

Svetlana Shlyakhtina,
Yekaterinburg city

For which plants can potato peelings be used as fertilizer

Experienced gardeners practically do not waste anything, especially a product such as potato peelings. They know that potato peel can be safely used as an organic fertilizer, since it contains starch, potassium and other beneficial ingredients.

The article will focus on how to prepare such a fertilizer, for which crops it is suitable and how to use potato peelings in the garden.

Composition and properties of potato peelings

The composition of potato peelings contains a significant amount of vitamin C, therefore, with regular use of such a fertilizer for berry crops, you can get a berry with a high content of ascorbic acid.

In addition to vitamin C, potato waste contains:

  • starch - stimulates the growth of plant energy, especially currants and roses love it
  • organic acids - help the normal course of oxidative processes in the body, improve the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates
  • glucose - needed for protein production and maintenance of vital energy levels in winter
  • mineral salts - are part of plants, with a lack of them, the plant loses its immunity.

Plant benefits and benefits

Potato peelings perform several useful functions for plants at once:

  • it is a good organic feeding - the starch contained in potatoes is necessary for crops during the growing season
  • it is an effective pest control agent - cleaning does not destroy pests, but lures them in one place where they are easier to collect
  • potato waste, decomposing in the ground, emit heat - there is not much of it, but there is enough for the development of plants.

The main advantage of this fertilizer is cost effectiveness. Potatoes are usually consumed in large quantities and about a quarter of the crop is wasted. Using them as fertilizers allows you not to spend money on the purchase of nutrients for the garden.

Their cleaning is absolutely environmentally friendly, they do not contain nitrates and pesticides. It is not necessary to accurately measure the dosage, since an excess of such fertilizer does not cause adverse consequences.

What plants are suitable for feeding

Potato waste can be used as a top dressing for almost any crops in the garden. They are of great importance for plants, because during the growth of plants, they are in great need of starch and glucose.

Such fertilization is necessary for currants, raspberries, strawberries, melons and gourds. It is also useful for other crops, even indoor and garden flowers.

How to prepare cleanings for fertilizing

In no case should you use fresh potato peels. It will begin to rot, which will attract rodents and cause infection of the plantings with late blight.

There are two procurement methods:

  1. Drying. The cleanings are either laid out in a thin layer in a well-ventilated area for about 7-10 days, or dried in an oven at a temperature of 100 ° C for about 3-4 hours.
  2. Freezing. Absolutely clean and dry peel is placed in the freezer.

The advantage of freezing is that the maximum concentration of nutrients is retained in the peel. But dried cleanings are more practical, since they can be stored for a long time, while frozen ones should be used immediately after defrosting, they cannot be re-frozen.

Preparing potato peels

The preparation procedure is quite simple. Before preparing the potato fertilizer, the peel is thoroughly washed, squeezed and dried.

Fertilizer Recipes From Potato Peelings

There are three options for the preparation of dressings from potato waste: infusion, gruel, flour.

These techniques have been proven over the years and are considered the most effective when applied to potato peels.


Suitable for indoor, berry crops, currants. For its preparation, the prepared raw materials are poured with boiling water and infused for a day. Dried raw materials are taken half as much as frozen.


Can only be prepared from dried raw materials. The cleanings are put into a deep tank and filled completely with boiling water. The resulting mixture is left covered for about a week. During this time, the cleaning is softened and saturated with water. After a week, they must be carefully mixed. The result is a kind of gruel.

It is obtained by grinding the cleanings - the less the better. Usually a meat grinder is used for this, but a coffee grinder can also be used. Before use, the resulting flour is brewed with boiling water.


The most harmless fertilizer, but with a long preparation period - the procedure lasts about one and a half years. Time can be shortened by regularly stirring the compost heap or adding various substances to it.

It is important to monitor the ratio of nitrogen and carbon components, otherwise the decay process may begin. The optimum is considered to be 25% nitrogen and 75% carbon.

Reference. If potato wastes are piled fresh, they will be considered nitrogen components, if dried, they will be carbon.

It is recommended to stir the contents of the pile every three days so that oxygen is supplied evenly.

Scheme and technology of feeding

The optimal time for organic fertilization is autumn, immediately after harvest. During the winter, it will partially rot and nutrients will be released into the soil.

For seedlings

Flour or gruel is good for seedlings.... A small handful of fertilizer is applied to the recess, after which it is sprinkled with a thin layer of earth. Then again fertilizer, then - the earth. After that, sprouts are planted. These actions provide the seedlings with the necessary nutrients.

For melons and gourds

When planting melons and gourds, for example, pumpkins, zucchini or cucumbers, fertilizing them with top dressing from potato waste will be completely useful.

Potato flour gruel is added to the bottom of the hole and sprinkled with earth. Then again fertilizer and another layer of soil on top. And even then the seedlings are planted. Such a planting will provide the plant with nutrients for a long time.

Experienced vegetable growers advise and regularly water with potato peel infusion. This will help the plant gain green mass and yield a good harvest.

For root vegetables, onions and garlic

For these cultures, infusion is more suitable. You can water the beds with it from the end of May every two weeks. Each bush is poured under the root separately.

Attention! Fragments of potato waste should not remain on the surface of the bed - they will lure insects and pests.

For raspberries, strawberries and currants

For berry crops, flour or infusion is more suitable.

Feeding currants or raspberries can be carried out annually in spring and autumn.At the same time, thanks to the starch, the berries only become tastier and larger.

To make the dressing work faster, it is added dropwise around the roots to a depth of 20 cm.

Strawberries are fed according to a different scheme: once every two weeks, the beds are generously sprinkled with potato flour or watered with infusion at the root.

As compost

The addition of potato waste to the compost speeds up the fermentation process. For compost, cleaning must be selected exclusively from healthy potatoes, otherwise pathogenic fungi will multiply there and, instead of benefit, such fertilizer will only harm.

As a pest control

Nutrient mixture based on potato peel reliably protects plants from pests. For insects, fresh scavenging traps are laid out in several places to lure insects such as slugs or Colorado beetles. Pests need to be regularly collected and destroyed, and traps should be replaced with fresh ones.

For indoor plants

For indoor plants, a decoction is prepared from potato peelings and boiling water, taken in a ratio of 1:10. The solution is cooled and filtered, after which it can be used to process ornamental plants. Indoor plants are watered every 3-4 weeks.

For flowers

For decorative street flowers, the solution is prepared in the same way as for indoor flowers. Street plants are treated every two weeks.

Most effectively, such feeding helps plants that reproduce tubers. These are tulips, gloxinia, begonias, etc.

Reference. Gloxinia should be watered carefully, without touching the leaves, otherwise it will rot.

For fruit plants

For fruit trees, a gruel is prepared, which is diluted with hot water and insisted for several days. The soil around the trees must be loosened before fertilizing. The gruel is buried around the trunks by about 20 cm.

How to store fertilizer cleaning

There is no shortage of such raw materials, but it is also impossible to simply put waste in a bag.

Dry blanks are stored in paper or cloth bags in a dry and well-ventilated area. Regularly you should sort them out in case of bugs or parasites.

Frozen pieces are stored in a freezer or in a cold cellar. They should not be allowed to defrost until the moment of application, they quickly begin to rot.

When you shouldn't use cleaning as fertilizer

Keep in mind that potato waste is not suitable for all crops. Do not use them when fertilizing nightshades - for example, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants. This is explained by the fact that they have a lot of common diseases with potatoes. After all, there is always a risk that live bacteria will remain even on well-dried and boiled-water cleaners.


Now you know for which plants potato peelings are used as fertilizer. Due to their many advantages and lack of disadvantages, they are gaining more and more popularity.

The use of this fertilizer improves the quality of the soil, increases the yield, allows you to fertilize the garden or vegetable garden without the use of chemicals and money.

How to cook humus in the country

Once my friend bought a plot on a farm near Rostov. Not only was it one of the islets of a meter-thick surviving chernozem, but it turned out that the neighborhood takes the place of the old stables of some Cossack regiment: neighbors sometimes removed layers of ancient manure directly from the garden, dried and stoked the stoves like peat. I remember his despair over the vegetable garden: “I planted it like a white man, began to clean it - cursed everything I remembered! Imagine, I'm going for beets with a bucket - more than one in the bucket won't fit! Carrying an onion - five onions in a bucket! I didn't weed the potatoes, the weeds were a meter long, I was so tired to carry! This is a punishment, not a vegetable garden! ” We would have such a punishment ...

At the beginning of the century, humus was studied in detail by scientists of the anthroposophical school of Rudolf Steiner in Germany. They believed that each substance carries a certain energy - "form-forming force". This force remains after the transformation of substances. Something like the "mind of molecules". The power of biological substances is very great. Therefore, humus - a concentrate of living substances - is the most powerful stimulant of life. The anthroposophists thought so. And they were right in almost everything.

Their experiments are amazingly beautiful. They learned to direct the maturation of humus with the help of decoctions of various herbs. We established qualitative differences between different types of humus and compost. They proved that the quality of humus is directly related to the quality of animal feed. And quality, this very “power” of the harvest, has a powerful effect on the health and strength of animals and humans. This means that in the closed system “plants - animals - people”, you can improve the health and quality of everyone to an ideal state. This is how the biodynamic farming system arose.

For the "organist" humus is the basis of well-being. They animate him and treat him very reverently: "no humus - no harvest." Taking care of humus and communicating with it is the main one of all jobs. Making humus and compost is an art and a sacred rite. The smell of ripe humus is one of the most pleasant for an "organist". Scattering, throwing away organic matter is like throwing away grain for a Russian peasant. Because high-quality humus, a handful per plant, can double the yield and dramatically improve the quality of vegetables.

Humus - alive in the most correct sense of the word. This is a community of living organisms that decompose organic matter for plants. Our roommates, symbionts. Helpers. Little paws. Look at the microscope: there, they are trying. It is not difficult to take care of them: the food is already there. But it is necessary to provide moisture and air. And feed is different. And the conditions can be such that, instead of humus, harmful sour "silage" will turn out. Let's consider, how to make useful humus.

What can be composted? First of all, any manure. If it is too liquid, it needs to be dried for a couple of days, and then mixed with straw, grass, sawdust, leaves, simply shifting in layers. Poultry droppings can be scattered over the compost heap in a thin layer: it is too concentrated. It is better to infuse it in water for liquid dressings, 1 part to 40-50 parts of water.

The remains of our life with you - "human eruptions", or feces - many do not want to use for composting out of disgust or from the belief that it is feces that is the source of helminths. I think we have another sanitary myth here. The soil is always full of different microbes and eggs. But plants have nothing to do with this: after all, no one bothers us to wash and peel vegetables, which we do all the time, and do not suffer from parasites. Here are the data from the “People's Encyclopedia”: “In some countries, for example, China, Belgium, southern France, fertilization of the soil by human eruptions, which fertilization value is higher than 8-10 times of manure, are of great distribution. They are mainly used where there is no livestock and manure, or vice versa, where the culture is so high that it requires increased fertilization ... ”. My toilet is a bucket instead of a pit, and I successfully compost this, mind you, inexhaustible, “cumulative product”. And the harvest of the beds grows and pleases. And there is no waste!

Mowed grass, straw, foliage, sawdust, husks, food and cooking leftovers, spoiled food, meat and fish production waste - everything will turn into compost over the summer if laid in layers and crumbling with earth each layer.

No need to throw fats, wool and bones into the compost heap: they do not rot for 3-4 years. And, of course, synthetics cannot be thrown into compost. Woods, chips, branches - should be crushed and placed on the bottom of the heap: before they rot, they will work as a drain.

How to arrange the right pile... Primarily - do not make holes. With our loams and rains, water accumulates in the depressions. And without air, putrefactive microbes freeze and multiply "fermenting and fermenting" - we do the silage and ferment the cabbage. Such smelly silage is bad for plants!

Therefore, find a place that is not flooded. Necessarily in the shade, otherwise you will often have to water the pile. Fence off 2–4 sq. meters with walls made of boards, iron, slate, meter height. Throw a layer of straw, sawdust, leaves at the bottom: they form a layer separating the compost from the ground, and it will be easy to pick it up with a pitchfork. It is even better if the heap is arranged on a concrete surface: it is more convenient to work in all respects. And you will have to carry humus in a wheelbarrow - tracks are needed.

The wall can be three - without the front. Or maybe four, but the front one should be removable: the humus has to be shoveled and picked up. The construction is completed by a sheet of film, slate or roofing material, covering the compost from above: rains should not wash out nutrients. At the same time, the "cover" will reduce moisture evaporation. The more stable the humidity is, the better. If the pile is covered and in the shade, it hardly needs watering in summer. And the last thing: if you decide to make the main walls of brick or concrete, make sure that excess water can flow out from below when it rains.

How to make compost mature... If the organic layer is wet and protected from drying out, it, in general, matures normally on its own. But still…

First. If freshly cut grass, all the more damp from dew or rain, is piled in a layer thicker than half a meter, it can become very compacted, and the above-mentioned "silage" will begin. Therefore, it is better to dry the grass for a day. Or alternate with layers of something drier. But the microbes must have air! In general, the layer of material should not be more than a meter.

Second. Ripening can be accelerated twice by sprinkling a couple of shovels of earth on each new layer of organic matter: bacteria for divorce. There is rotten, green water left - pour it on a heap: food for microbes.

Third. You can make mature compost in a month. To do this, apply hot composting. In this case, the volume of organic matter should be close to cubic (optimally –1–1.2 m in height). There should be air gaps in the walls (mesh walls are best). There should be the same empty space nearby for the compost to be thrown over. The volume is filled in layers, flavored with ready-made compost or earth, with a lack of moisture, the layers are watered. Here you need to know the properties of different materials: depending on the nitrogen or carbon content, they behave differently. Nitrogenous grains, seeds, bread and flour products, food waste, rotting fruits and vegetables, as well as manure and feces - this is a "firebox": their rotting heats up the heap. A hot pile matures an order of magnitude faster. But these "stokers" contain little air and are too acidic. Therefore, they are sandwiched carbonaceous materials: straw, foliage, grass, sawdust, shredded cardboard, paper. They are airy, they themselves hardly get warm, and when rotting, on the contrary, they consume nitrogen. If you take equal parts of both, the balance turns out to be normal. And this mixture heats up quickly. But after 4–6 days, the heat in the center of the heap exceeds 70 ° C, and oxygen ends - the microbes begin to die. If the pile is covered with foil, then after three to four days. Here you take a pitchfork and throwing the compost to an empty seat. And so - four times. Troubled. But by June, you can fill the beds with a layer of fresh compost. And get three servings over the summer. Western farmers often compost like this.

The conclusions are as follows: if the heap contains mainly nitrogenous materials, sprinkle the finished compost with ash, chalk or lime - deacidify. If only carbonaceous - add nitrogen: urea (carbamide) or nitrate per kilogram per cubic meter - it will rot faster and will retain its nutritional value.

Mature compost (humus) is easy to find out. It becomes dark and monotonous: the differences between the different components almost disappear. But the main thing is the smell. All unpleasant odors disappear. Matured compost smells brightly of fresh soil or forest floor. More precisely, this earth smells like compost if it contains organic matter. If it doesn't smell, it's dead land.

Compost tea... One shovel of compost is infused for a week in 20 liters of water. It turns out top dressing. We do the same with dung or chicken. A very excellent revitalizing fertilizer! True, if there is humus mulch, such measures are useless - it both fertilizes and stores moisture.

Let's mention worms... Doctor of Medical Sciences, Doctor Anatoly Mikhailovich Igonin devoted his life to the technology of breeding earthworms. He saw that "... human health is directly related to the health and well-being of earthworms."
this is not an exaggeration. Passing soil and organic debris through the intestines, worms create a unique substance - biohumus. In terms of nutritional value and biological activity, it is much more valuable than the best humus or compost. Commercial agronomy primarily destroys worms: they are afraid of dryness, acidity, excess salt and lack of organic matter. Breeding worms, as Igonin suggests, is too troublesome. And under the mulch, they themselves will divorce. You just need to greet them and feed them with plant residues. If a layer of organic matter disappears from the garden during the summer, this is good: the worms have eaten. Our business is to add it.

But where can I get it? First, just don't throw it away. Secondly, you do not have it simply because you did not set such a goal. You can carry leaves, mow weeds, buy manure, husks, sawdust and other waste. In the West, all organic urban waste is sold cheaply to farmers. If we want - so it will be with us. For example, I compost grass from ten acres of meadow and all the garbage in the front garden. The neighbor gives away the manure. I also buy from the farm. And enough. I concentrate all the strength of the site in several beds. And these beds give incomparably more than the soil - even as you plow and fertilize it. The beds are getting smarter!

What is compost and how to make it

In natural gardening, compost has a special place, as it is the keeper and source of plant vitality, as well as the main fertilizer.

The future harvest and plant health directly depend on the quality of the compost. If you prepare the compost correctly, then you will not need any pesticides.

Gardeners typically compost grass cuttings, weeds, crop residues, kitchen waste, and leaf litter. All organic matter that can decompose can be added to the compost heap. Such substances include wood waste, straw, and hay. You should not add feces to the compost, since they need to be composted separately, sprinkled with peat or soil, for at least two years.

For microorganisms to be able to recycle whatever you throw into the compost heap and turn it all into humus, certain conditions must be created. Therefore, you cannot just dump everything in a hole, but you need to do everything in accordance with a certain order.

Microorganisms working for our benefit need adequate nutrition. Plant residues provide them with carbon, but this is not enough - they also need nitrogen. Therefore, nitrogen-rich substances must also be added to the pile. The ideal option is animal dung. If you are using cow dung, then about 20% of the total volume of the heap is needed. Less poultry droppings are needed because they are more concentrated. If you can't get manure, then you can replace it with young nettles, bone meal, stems and roots of legumes, as well as young grass. It is also useful to water the compost heap with 4: 1 diluted urine as a top dressing.

You also need to provide microorganisms with air and water. The compost heap should always be slightly damp, but not flooded. The pile should not be very tight. In order for the air to penetrate into the compost heap, punctures are made in it with a sharpened stick.

The optimal dimensions of the compost heap are about 1.5 m wide, 1.2 m high, and length as needed.It is also important to know that the ideal option is to always place the compost heap in the same place. In this case, the soil under the compost heap becomes a real repository of the microorganisms you need.

One more point - when folding a pile, you need to add fertile soil to it as a seed with microorganisms. It is a kind of yeast for fermenting your dough.

You can simply fold the compost pile on the ground, gradually narrowing it up, or you can make a pile in a wooden box without a bottom. The box should have discontinuous walls - this will provide free air access to the pile.

If you create normal conditions for the life of microorganisms, the compost heap heats up and the rate of decomposition of plant residues in it increases.

Also, phosphorus can be added to the compost heap in the form of phosphate rock or fused phosphate (6-7 kg per cubic meter) and potassium in the form of wood ash or in the form of potassium sulfate (1-2 kg per cubic meter). The resulting compost will also provide your plants with phosphorus and potassium.

The composition of the heap is as follows:

1 layer - plant residues 20 cm thick
2nd layer - lime to neutralize acidity at the rate of 2-3 kg of ground limestone per cubic meter of compost
3rd layer - manure or nitrogen material
4th layer - enriching additives, and then a thin (2-3 cm) layer of earth.

In this sequence, the layers are stacked until the pile reaches the required height. The finished pile is covered with peat or an old bag to prevent it from drying out. In just 2-3 days, the temperature in the heap rises.

If you leave the heap and do not mix it, then it will take 1-1.5 years to process it. If everything is done correctly, it will take only six months.

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DIY compost pit | Doing it right

Compost is the gardener's loyal assistant in caring for plants and improving the properties of the soil. It is used to improve the quality of the soil, and as fertilizer, and for mulching. Making compost with your own hands at your dacha does not require much effort and large material costs. To do this, you just need to select and equip a suitable place where you can compost herbs and other organic waste. Let's take a look at how to make and use a compost heap.

Rules for the location of the compost pit

Before making a compost pit, you need to find the right spot in your country house where your organic fertilizer will mature. To do this, it is important to adhere to the following rules:

  • so that composting waste does not get into drinking water, the pile is arranged no closer than 30 meters from sources - wells, wells, streams and other bodies of water
  • if there is a slope on the personal plot, the pit is placed below the level of water sources

  • a pile is settled away from residential buildings, while taking into account the prevailing winds so that the smell of compostable grass does not cause inconvenience to you or your neighbors in the country
  • It is undesirable to leave the fertilizer in the open sun - in such conditions, the decomposition of organic matter slows down or stops altogether, so it is better to place the pit in the shade.

Important! It is necessary to provide free access to the pit so that nothing interferes with laying waste and taking out the finished compost on a wheelbarrow.

Compost pit construction

The universal dimensions for a compost heap are:

  • width - 1.5 m
  • length - 2 m
  • height above ground level - 1.5 m
  • depth - 0.5 m.

The design is made both open and closed.

1. For the most common open-type compost heap in the country, they dig a shallow hole. The walls are covered with slate. It is not necessary to isolate the bottom of the pit, through it there should be free access to the compost for worms and microorganisms that promote fermentation. Foliage, grasses and other organic waste are placed on the bottom. To prevent the spread of odor, cover with a tarp.

2. A closed pit assumes a more complex structure. A wooden or concrete frame is arranged around the perimeter of the pit. The tree is pretreated with compounds that will prevent the material from decaying. The frame is sheathed with timber, boards or bricked. It is more convenient to make a structure with a pitched cover, which is hinged to one of the sides.

Filling the compost pit

The compost pit can be filled gradually as organic debris accumulates. But if your goal is to fertilize the site as quickly as possible, then it is better to fill it right away. For this, not only herbs are suitable, but also other waste that often appears in the country.
The following composting scheme is optimal:

  1. the lowest layer is formed from sawn branches or large sawdust, roots and bark of trees, there may also be fallen leaves and needles
  2. the next layer is filled with plant residues - unsuitable raw vegetables and berries, grass, straw, you can also put shredded paper and cardboard
  3. the third layer is formed by rotted herbivore manure or bird droppings. You can add ammonium nitrate.

Reference. When filling the compost pit, take into account the composition of the soil of your site. If the soils are acidic, wood ash is added there.

The second and third layers alternate until the pit is completely filled.

Compost heap device diagram

As the residues decompose, the entire contents are periodically shoveled.
Not all plant residues are allowed to be composted.

  1. It is unacceptable that weeds with seeds or vegetables infected with late blight and other fungal diseases get there. Together with the compost, they will move to the site and continue their detrimental effects in healthy crops.
  2. Bones and meat waste, insects, polyethylene and other synthetics, as well as plants treated with chemicals must not be thrown into the compost.

Watering the compost heap

The compost fertilizer must be watered. The moisture level must be sufficient for the effective functioning of microorganisms, contributing to the formation of useful organic elements.
Watering is carried out with warm water. After moistening, the pile is covered with a film to form a greenhouse effect. For the fastest decomposition, a glass of sugar diluted in warm water with yeast is added to the fertilizer. This will increase the rate of maturation of the compost several times.

Component balance

The ripening process is accompanied by the release of heat. This is easy to check when the owner shovels the compost. In the center, the temperature reaches + 60 ... + 70 ° С. If the contents are cold to the touch, more nitrogenous components are added - grain, bread products, rotting fruits and vegetables, rotted manure.

Another layout of the compost heap

Ideally, compost should be made from equal amounts of nitrogenous and carbonaceous materials. The latter contribute to greater breathability. These include: straw, grass, sawdust, paper, shredded cardboard.

Compost use

Matured compost becomes dark and homogeneous. It does not give off an unpleasant smell. The fertilizer should smell like fresh soil. If this smell is not present, there are not enough useful organic elements in it.
The ready-made compost is used both in its natural form and as a supplement diluted with water. In the first case, it is raked into the soil at the rate of 5 kg per 1 square meter of soil. Unripe compost is used to mulch tree trunks. It is also used as biofuel for greenhouses and greenhouses.
Compost is irreplaceable as a root dressing. To do this, one shovel of raw materials is diluted in 20 liters of water and insisted for a week. Suitable for both garden crops and indoor plants.

If you don't already have a compost heap, it's time to move from theory to practice. As you can see, it is not difficult to arrange it. And you will get multiple benefits from this.

What to do next

Good quality compost - homogeneous, crumbly, moderately moist, dark brown in color, smelling of forest soil. A simple and accessible experiment to determine its readiness: nasturtium seeds are sown on the surface through a sieve, they are slightly pressed and moistened. If after 3-4 days most of them germinate, the compost is ripe and can be used.

In spring and autumn, compost is added to the soil during its digging, approximately - 15–20 kg of substance per square meter, added to the holes when planting vegetables, shrubs, trees. In greenhouses, it is used as a bedding that warms up the fertile layer of the earth located above. In summer, it is used as a mulch for all crops. It is believed that a 2–3 cm layer of compost protects plants from harmful microorganisms better than any fungicide.

Self-composting is a simple and inexpensive way to organically improve any type of soil on your site plus waste disposal. If the technology is followed, a natural fertilizer will be ready in a year to increase the yield.

Soil for lemons: preparing the substrate for citrus fruits

The correct soil in the pot is the key to the health of indoor lemon. Photo: Health Offered The right potting soil is the key to the health of indoor lemon. Photo: Health Offered

The soil for indoor lemons should be balanced in composition. The correct soil composition is the key to the health of home lemon trees.

Text: Olga Ravilova 06-27-2017 12-20-2020 Good-Tips.PRO

The soil for indoor lemons should be balanced. Lemons will grow quickly and develop well only in full-fledged soil: the composition of the soil, acidity, looseness, water permeability and other characteristics of the soil should be equivalent to the natural soil of the growing places.

The soil for lemons should be loose, light, permeable and breathable. Lemons do not grow on clay soils - they poorly conduct oxygen and water to the roots of plants. Too light peat soils are also not suitable for home lemons. The ideal soil is the golden mean: nutritious loams, enriched sandy soils, etc.

Soil acidity is the most important growth factor for indoor lemon. Lemons, like most citrus fruits, likes neutral (pH 6.5-7) or soils close to neutral (pH about 6). Lemons do not grow well in both acidic and alkaline soil.

Acidity is characterized by the presence of hydrogen ions in the soil. At home, the acidity of the soil can be checked with litmus paper, determining the pH (base number) by the color of the test strip.

In the summer, you can use currant leaves to determine the acidity of the soil - in a folk way. Take a glass jar, put a few black currant leaves in it and pour boiling water over it. When the infusion of currant leaves has cooled, throw a lump of earth into it. If the water turns red, the soil is acidic and not suitable for growing lemons.

Experienced lemon breeders claim that temperate nature does not have soil suitable for growing indoor lemons and prefer to prepare potting mix on their own, or buy ready-made citrus mixes in stores. The fact is that when a plant grows in a pot, in a small volume of soil, it is necessary to prepare a more nutritious soil than natural soil.

Characteristics of soils, mixture components

Potting mix for lemons is prepared from several ingredients. Let's take a look at the characteristics of each component of the mixture separately.

Garden land

Garden soil is a light, nutritious soil that forms in orchards under trees. The most valuable is the top 7 cm layer of soil, at a distance of half a meter from the trunk of the fruit tree. Garden land is harvested in the summer, cutting off a layer of earth 6-7 cm thick and sifting it through a sieve.

You can take the soil next to wormholes - it is light, crumbly and has neutral acidity, there are no root residues and insects in it.

Garden soil is inferior in nutritional value to leafy soil, so it is often replaced by the latter.

Leaf land

Leafy ground - humus from fallen leaves of trees: linden, maple, birch, etc. growing in natural conditions, far from cities. Leafy soil is prepared by raking up heaps of leaves, watered with water and slurry to accelerate decay. To lower the acidity of the leafy soil, lime is added, at the rate of 500 grams per 1 m 3.

The leaves, piled in a pile, completely rot in 2 years. The soil from the leaves is loose, light, nutritious. Leafy soil must be added to substrates for citrus crops, including indoor lemons.

Sod (sod land)

Sod land (sod) - the basis for the preparation of potting mixes for citrus crops. Sod is harvested in meadows and pastures with good herbage of perennial grasses: clover, chamomile, bluegrass, timothy grass, etc. These herbs grow only on neutral and slightly acidic soils, which means that sod land is suitable for home lemons.

Sod land is not taken on swampy and acidic soils. It is customary to distinguish between heavy and light sod land, the first is harvested on clay soils, and the second on sandy soils.

Sod soil is prepared like this. Sod, cut in layers (about 10-12 cm thick, 20-30 cm wide and 30-35 cm long), is laid in layers “grass-to-grass” in stacks no more than 1 m high and about 1.2 m wide. to stimulate the decomposition of plant residues between layers of sod, it is recommended to make layers of cow dung (1 part of manure for 4 parts of sod). Make a recess in the top of the stack to hold water.

In the summer, the stack is shoveled several times, watered with water and slurry. Care must be taken not to overgrow the pile with weeds during storage. You can cover with a dark film.

It is not recommended to keep sod land in heaps for too long - the soil loses its porosity and elasticity. The best sod land is obtained after two years of aging - it has a significant supply of nutrients, is porous, although it is prone to compaction.

Before use, the sod land must be sieved to remove non-decayed residues. If it is necessary to reduce the acidity of the sod land, add lime and wood ash.

Sand (river or lake)

There are no nutrients in river and lake sand. It is added to the soil mixture to impart lightness and looseness, to increase the air permeability of the soil. Sand interferes with the development and spread of fungal diseases leading to decay of the lemon root system.

Quarry sand is not suitable for indoor lemons; only coarse sand from fresh water bodies is used. Before adding to the mixture, the sand must be rinsed to clean water.

Cuttings root better in sand, so its content in the substrate intended for growing cuttings can reach 50%. In addition, sand retains heat and moisture better than earth.

Peat land

Peat land - land obtained from the decomposition of peat from raised bogs with the addition of manure.

Peat, like sod, is stacked and, in order to increase its nutritional value, every 25-30 cm of peat is watered with slurry or a dung layer is made. Peat is kept in a stack for 3 years, shoveling several times.

Peat is acidic (pH 4-5). To reduce the acidity of the finished peat land, peat is sprinkled with lime at the rate of 3-4 kg / 1 m 3 or wood ash - 8-10 kg / m 3.

Peat soil in its pure form is practically not used, but it is added to earthen mixtures to improve the structure and properties of the substrate, to improve the absorption and retention of moisture. Peat soil is added to turf soil to reduce the tendency to compaction, but in small doses, as it increases the acidity of the soil.

Before adding peat soil to the substrate, to remove air, it is moistened. Peat soil is less prone to acidification than leafy soil.

Compost (compost soil)

Compost soil (compost) - soil that is formed as a result of the natural decomposition of a variety of organic waste.

Raw materials for compost: cut grass, fallen leaves, food debris, small branches, straw, etc. The compost resulting from the decomposition of plant debris is rich in nutrients.

In its pure form, compost is not used, especially when growing indoor lemons, but it is included in soil mixtures as an independent component or as a substitute for leaf or garden soil.

To prepare compost soil, the raw material is packed tightly into a pit, trench or heap and watered to stimulate decomposition with slurry or some kind of composting agent.

The use of modern composting products makes it possible to speed up the preparation of compost, prevent the development of pathogenic microflora in it and increase its efficiency. So that the compost mass does not cake, does not compact, and the conditions in it contribute to the development of microorganisms, it is recommended to layer the waste with earth when laying. For active decay, the compost should be kept moist and mixed regularly. After 2 years, the compost soil is ready.

The compost is sieved and steamed before adding to the substrate to cleanse it of harmful microorganisms and weed seeds.

Important! Insufficiently matured compost soil is detrimental to indoor lemons. The finished compost is dark in color, homogeneous structure, and easily crumbles.

Humus (humus earth, dung humus)

Humus - is formed as a result of the complete decomposition of manure. The quality of the resulting humus depends on the raw material: light and crumbly humus is obtained from horse manure, which gives the soil mixture looseness and good air and moisture permeability, slightly inferior in structure to humus from cattle manure, and humus from feces of sheep and rabbits contains less nutritious substances.

How to properly prepare manure humus. Fresh manure is stacked, sprinkled with sawdust, straw or earth and kept in this form for at least a year (preferably 2-3), periodically moistening and turning over. The resulting humus earth is oily to the touch, crumbly, light homogeneous mass, rich in micro and macro elements (especially nitrogen). When growing lemons, it is used in small amounts to enrich substrates.

In the absence of manure humus, it can be replaced with compost soil, which has similar properties.

Substrates for growing lemons

Based on the components of the soil mixtures described above, you can prepare several options for growing indoor lemons and citrus plants.

Substrate Is a mixture of several types of soil, taken in a certain proportion.

Do not forget to check the acidity of the finished substrate, especially one containing peat. Remember, lemons prefer slightly acidic and neutral soils.

If necessary, reduce the acidity of the finished substrate by adding wood ash or dolomite flour to it. You can increase the acidity of the soil by adding additional manure humus or peat.

  1. Mix in equal amounts previously sifted sod, leafy soil and manure humus. Add washed coarse river sand to the resulting mixture in an amount of 10% of the total mass. Mix thoroughly again. You can add 200 g of granular superphosphate to a bucket of the finished mixture.
  2. To prepare this substrate, equal amounts of sod, leaf, peat lands, dung humus (preferably horse) and river sand are taken. When planting (transplanting) adult plants of sod land, twice as much is taken than other components of the substrate. All components of the mixture must be thoroughly mixed and free from impurities.
  3. The composition of this substrate differs from the previous one in that it does not include peat soil and the sod content is increased. For young plants, the initial components of the soil mixture: sod land, leafy soil, manure humus and sand are taken in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 1, and for adults - 3: 1: 1: 1. River sand can be replaced with sea sand (for example, dune sand).
  4. A more nutritious substrate is obtained with an increase in the amount of leafy soil. Take 2 parts of sod land, 3 parts of leafy land, 1 part of manure, 1.5 parts of sand. To increase the breathability of the mixture and prevent root rot, charcoal (0.5 part) can be added to the substrate.
  5. All previous mixtures contained turf and leafy soil as the main components. If their preparation is difficult, then you can use the following substrate. Take 2 parts of garden soil, 1 part of sand and 1 part of peat. To enrich the mixture with nutrients, you can add organic fertilizer based on manure (1/10 of the volume of the mixture).

The finished substrate is heat treated, steamed to destroy the larvae or eggs of pests and pathogens (fungal spores), as well as harmful bacteria.

The substrate is steamed in two ways:

  1. in an oven heated to approximately + 80-90 ° C, keep the baking sheet with the substrate for 1-2 hours
  2. pour a bucket with a substrate with water (8 l of substrate / 1 l of water) and boil for 30-40 minutes, covering the bucket with a lid.

After cooling down, the substrate can be used.

Unfortunately, during steaming, not only insects, nematodes, worms, pathogenic fungi and bacteria die, but the microflora of the substrate also deteriorates. It is possible to sterilize not the entire substrate, but only its most dangerous components (sod, leafy soil, compost, manure humus), and add relatively clean (peat) after cooling.

Artificial substrates components

Commercially available substrates of artificial origin - industrially processed rocks and minerals. Artificial ingredients improve potting soil for indoor lemons.


Vermiculite is an environmentally friendly material that looks like wood chips, made from clay heated to a very high temperature.

Vermiculite absorbs excess water, has a high absorption capacity and low density, maintains an optimal amount of air and moisture in the soil, which prevents compaction and caking of the soil mixture.

Vermiculite is an ideal component of potting mixes for rooting cuttings, in which they take root well. In substrates for adult plants, vermiculite with success replaces river sand.

The ability of vermiculite to absorb unused moisture and fertilizers dissolved in it and give them as needed increases the duration of the dressing.

The composition of vermiculite includes trace elements necessary for plants: magnesium, calcium, silicon, iron. Therefore, vermiculite creates favorable conditions for the nutrition of the root system and the growth of lemons.


Perlite is a volcanic rock based on silicon dioxide, heat treated and crushed to a homogeneous mass. Perlite is used as a substitute for sand, but, unlike sand, it is light, porous and homogeneous in both physical and chemical characteristics.

Unlike vermiculite, perlite contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron in a bound state, in a form inaccessible to plants.

Perlite is added to improve the porosity of the mixes and to prevent crust formation on the surface of the garden soil-containing substrates. The amount of perlite is 10-20% of the volume of the mixture. Perlite plays the role of a fan in the substrate.


Dolomite is a sedimentary rock containing calcium and manganese carbonates, one of the best materials for liming the soil.

Dolomite is ground and used in the form of dolomite flour to reduce the acidity of peat substrates, which is especially important when growing citrus plants and indoor lemons in particular.

Expanded clay

Expanded clay is an artificial material in the form of porous balls, obtained by firing clayey fusible rocks.

Expanded clay weakly retains water, therefore it is used to create a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot. A few centimeters of expanded clay will prevent the roots from plugging the hole in the pot.

I wish you to make the right substrate and grow lemons worth a million!

What can you put in a compost pit?

The following organic waste is suitable for raw materials, which are conventionally divided into two large groups.

Brown waste

These include those that emit carbon.

  • fallen leaves
  • broken branches, except for too thick
  • sawdust and shavings
  • cotton and woolen rags
  • disposable filters
  • bark
  • cardboard, finely torn paper
  • shells from nuts
  • newspapers.
  • hay
  • plant roots
  • ash
  • cereals
  • flowers
  • cut grass
  • rotten boards (for example, from an old fence).

Green waste

Wastes that emit nitrogen are considered green.

  • unsuitable for food and for processing berries, vegetables and fruits
  • sleeping tea and coffee cake
  • stubs and cleaning
  • scraps of wool
  • leftover soups, cereals
  • eggshell
  • waste products of herbivores.

When laying a large amount of freshly cut grass, the composting time will increase significantly. To speed up the process, lightly sprinkle small layers of grass with earth.

Watch the video: How to Make Compost 2x Faster with FREE Cardboard

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