Heap composter. Thecompostingit is a completely natural biological process by which nutrients and bioelements useful for fertilizing the soil are obtained. Today, who intends to deal withcompostinghe can do this by employing modernscomposteror with the traditional method ofheap.
Aheap composterit must be managed wisely: organic waste materials such as branches, grass, flowers, fruit remains…. once chopped and mixed, they must be aerated to ensure adequate oxygenation and decomposition, also thanks to earthworms and microorganisms capable of transforming waste into excellenttopsoilorcompost.
Theheapconsists of a simple pile of residues placed outdoors, in an area far from the house. Thereheap composterit is suitable for those who have a lot of material to recycle and space available, those who have a vegetable garden or a garden of 100 - 150 square meters, will be able to dispose of their waste thanks to the heap, preparing an area of 4 square meters to be allocated to the composter.
To make aheap compostereffective you need to choose a strategic place:
- Near the heap, it would be good to prepare a sheltered place for operators, the composting it goes on even in winter!
- Theheapit must be shaded in the height of summer and beaten by the sun's rays during the winter. The ideal would be to be able to place it under a deciduous tree. Alternatively, it is recommended to prepare a wooden canopy that allows the oblique winter rays to irradiate the pile and blocks the sun's rays from the midday sun in summer.
- Better a secluded place, theheap it does not give off bad smells (even if it all depends on the organic materials conferred!) but it is certainly not nice to see;
- A source of water is needed nearby: in summer it will be necessary to wet the heap to restore the necessary humidity.
- To confer organic materials in high quantities, it would be better if the heap could be reached via a path that could be traveled with a wheelbarrow.
- To make the heap less visible and above all less exposed to the wind (do not choose ventilated places as they could sweep away part of the organic material), you can plant shrubs such as elderberry, hazel, brambles or raspberries as a windbreak.
After seeing where to put the heap composter, let's see how it is done:
- The draining base
Before starting to produceheap compost, prepare a drainage base: where you intend to build inheapmake a small excavation, rake and place at least 10 cm of coarse gravel, alternatively you can makeheapon wooden pallets or drainage pipes. A draining base is necessary to remove excess water and supply oxygen to the lower part of theheap. If you use the pallets, cover them with a tight mesh net so as to allow the passage of air but not occupy the empty spaces of the pallets themselves.
- From May to September
Give the heap the classic trapezoid shape: it will better absorb rainwater by balancing losses due to evaporation.
- From October to April
It is preferable to give the heap a triangular section to facilitate the flow of most of the rains in order to avoid the formation of mold.
- The compost should be mixed and turned periodically so as to apply good ventilation to the material. In the article dedicated to home composting you can learn how to turn compost.
When to use compost?
The compost is ready about 4-6 months after starting the process and can be used to fertilize the soil before sowing or transplanting. If very fresh, it should be used like manure and that is not in contact with the roots. After 8-10 months the compost is defined as mature and looks like a nice soft and black soil.
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