Farmers across the nation are learning the amazing ways composting helps commercial operations. It’s an effective method for restoring soil health and boosting crop health. Furthermore, it’s even a marketable product on its own. Starting a pile isn’t hard, but there are a few composting mistakes you can’t afford to make on your farm. To ensure your new composting efforts best support your farm, you must create a good mix, tend the pile properly, and only add the best materials.
Improperly Balanced Material Mix
An important factor of an efficient compost pile is the quality of the mixture. For the compost to break down at a steady rate, there needs to be dry, dead material, and fresh green material. Both are rich in different bacteria, and the moisture from the fresh variety helps boost microbial growth. If your compost breakdown is slowing down, try adding grass clippings to give it a surge of fresh food.
Failing To Tend the Pile
Eventually, just about everything will break down into the soil. However, when attempting to create usable compost, you don’t want to wait for the process too long. The more time goes by, the likelier it will become that your pile will just sink into the ground or wash away in the rain. The goal is to transform material rapidly into usable compost, and this requires some attention to accomplish. For commercial farmers, that means using the right equipment, such as a water trailer and compost turner. You need to aerate and water the compost regularly for it to break down at a predictable rate.
Adding in the Wrong Materials
The most serious composting mistake you can’t afford to make is adding the wrong materials. It may be tempting to throw random sticks and food scraps into your pile. While these items will ultimately break down, there are often unwanted side effects to putting them in. Hard items, such as twigs, nutshells, and eggshells, will take months or even years to break down. Food scraps besides plants can and will attract vermin. You should never add meats, grease, and dairy items. At best, they’ll turn your compost into a rancid mess.