HomeDIY CraftHow to Make Enough Compost for My Garden: Urban Composting Fix

How to Make Enough Compost for My Garden: Urban Composting Fix


Adding fertilizer to your soil is one of the best things you can do for your garden. So, it’s no wonder you want to produce as much of it as possible! When it comes to urban composting, you’ll want to think beyond the traditional, small compost bin so you can capture as much garden gold as possible.

Urban composting methods

I get excited about composting the same way one does about one’s partner. Compost is pure garden gold. This is one of the easiest, most economical ways to improve your garden soil. All this while preventing more waste from ending up in landfills.

I don’t use any fertilizers in my garden. The soil in most of my garden beds already contains all the necessary nutrients, compost adds organic matter, microbes and improves soil structure. When using compost, your soil will be able to retain more moisture, be more aerated, and have more nutritional value for your plants.

Compost is great, hey?

While many people think that composting may be as simple as throwing all of your kitchen waste into a pile, it is not that simple. It’s not hard to do when done correctly.

If, like me, you need a lot of compost to start a new gardening space, here’s how you can maximize your composting system in your small space.

Making compact compost at home
Amend the soil with compost annually or more often when you have compost readily available.

how to make compost

To make compost, you need four key ingredients: nitrogen, carbon, air, and moisture.

Nitrogen is filled with “greenery” such as kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and clippings from your gardens. You need a portion of nitrogen.

Next, you will need two to three parts of “brown” as a carbon source. These are usually dry and bulk, such as paper, straw, or other shredded wood materials.

The compost needs to be turned regularly to encourage aeration (oxygen), which helps speed up structure, as well as moisture.

You can learn more about mastering composting in this post. This method is the same as what you traditionally use in a compost bin or pile for your backyard.

But unless you have a lot of space, It is difficult to make enough compost to feed a new garden with poor soil. And if you have lots of space, that probably means you need even more compost than the average gardener!

small space composting
Spread compost in a thick layer over the soil when the garden is unproductive. There is no need to change the top layer of soil.

How I’m managing my urban composting system

I’m in my first spring in my new house. The yard is quite neglected, with poor drainage and overgrown grass.

At the back is a large raised bed left by the previous owners. About 10 feet by 7 feet, it goes directly over the neighbor’s fence. Because of this design, it is impossible to reach the back corner without climbing over the bed.

I made paths in it last summer, but the space in it is wasted. So, I’m using the whole thing to create a more functional gardening bed this upcoming summer.

Right now, I’m throwing every ounce of green and brown into the raised bed, hoping to make a ton of compost. I have plans for a food forest, and I will need all the compost to feed my neglected soil.

Compost pile with coffee grounds on top
This compost pile topped with coffee grounds makes a great addition to kitchen scraps.

How can I make enough compost for my entire garden?

The secret to making lots of compost Use as many different methods as possible instead of relying on a traditional, small compost bin. Instead of removing any organic matter from your garden or throwing out kitchen waste, find ways to use it in your garden.

Here are some ways I use compact composting.

mulching

Mulches are incredibly popular among permaculturists and gardeners because They provide regenerative properties to the soil, The protective layer of organic matter keeps soil temperatures more consistent, prevents surface evaporation, and decomposes slowly to add nutrients.

Here’s what you can use as mulch from nature in your garden:

  • leaf mold
  • Wood Chips (nothing painted)
  • Pine Straw/Coniferous Needles
  • Straw cardboard (broken into small 6- by 12-inch pieces)
  • grass clippings
  • sea ​​kelp

As an urban composter, add a layer of mulch to any of your garden beds in the fall. It will protect the soil and eventually decompose in the soil.

sheet mulching
Sheet mulching is the process of creating a new garden bed or soil in layers or sheets using various carbon and nitrogen source materials.

cut and drop

Cut and drop is a form of mulching where you Chop up plant material in your garden and leave it to decompose above the soil surface.

It will nourish the roots of its own kind, mimicking how they fertilize soil in nature. Avoid plants that have gone seeded and use only disease and insect-free materials.

This is an excellent form of compact composting that you can do while working in the garden during the growing season.

cut and drop mulching
Wild plants and volunteers provide fine pruning and mulch. Harvest them before they go to seed.

green manure

Also known as cover crops, Green manures are plants that are grown for the sole purpose of being returned to the soil. Plants are generally nitrogen fixing crops.

The plants are pulled or cut and then cut into small pieces. The top layer turns into mulch on the soil surface (tilling it into the soil is no longer recommended). Below ground, the remaining roots are left to rot. As the tops and bottoms decompose, they provide nutrients and a soil-conditioning effect.

To use green manures as an urban fertilizer, they work best in large gardening beds, or if you want to feed a new lawn.

Lupine
Legumes such as lupine (Lupinis spp.) provide many benefits, such as nitrogen-fixing, erosion control, and attracting pollinators.

spot compost

With just a small compost bin, it can fill up quickly. Instead of constantly piling on larger amounts, you want to let the green waste sit and decompose completely before adding more scraps.

Spot composting is an easy way to make compost. To do this, you can Dig a hole directly in your gardening bed, add green waste into it, and then cover it.

small space composting
Kitchen scraps can include raw or cooked food.

worm bin

I have pet bugs, and you might too! Worm bins are one of my favorite urban composting methods, and are Great for people with minimal space. Vermicomposting is where you use worms to decompose your kitchen scraps along with carbon materials like straw and paper.

Here’s how you can build your own worm bin and maintain it to keep your worms happy and fed.

Vermicomposting is a great urban compost method
Worm castings (worm feces) appear much finer than soil and are very good at retaining moisture.

Do you have more compost-related questions? Leave them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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