It is critical to keep the right amount of moisture in your compost as too little or too much moisture can affect the process. The process of composting can seem simple but you have to understand everything about it to succeed.
Composting enriches the soil with organic products processed from waste from the kitchen, yard, and other wastes products. The process requires oxygen, moisture, and heat to produce the rich organic product.
Knowing how much water you need in your compost pile and when to add it is an essential part of the process. Here is a guide to help you know how to manage your compost piles’ moisture to succeed in the process.
Why water the compost?
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Every living thing needs water for survival, and because your compost pile needs microorganisms for decomposition, it also needs water. That is why it is essential to have some amount of moisture in your decomposing pile to give you the kind of manure you need. You need the right amount of water or moisture to help the organisms thrive and turn your pile compost into a usable form. Also, the presence of water in your pile helps in regulating the temperature in it. If you have other substances to add to the pile, like hay or dry grass, you need to soak them in water before adding them to the compost pile.
How often should you water compost?
One of the most important things to succeed in your compost is to ensure you have the right amount of moisture to keep it healthy. Having the appropriate amount of moisture ensures healthy compost and supports the microbes’ healthy performance. That helps in decomposing and controlling the temperature in your pile.
Adding too much water will choke out the available oxygen leading to slowing down the microbes that break down the compost to almost a standstill. Simultaneously, having too little moisture can lead to slow decomposition, uneven temperatures, and sometimes too spontaneous combustion.
Since there are so many variables that affect your compost’s performance, all you need is not when to water but how the compost looks to guide you on what to do. You need to have the compost looking like a sponge that has been wrung out to know that it has enough water. If it is drier than that, then you should know it is time to sprinkle water on it.
How much water does a compost pile deed?
Too little water makes the pile dry, and the bacteria will not have enough water to work as fast as when there is water. Little water also may lead to some parts of the pile decomposing at a different rate from others. If the difference persists, it may lead to hot compost. Therefore, it is essential to keep checking the moisture amount in your compost file to avoid combustion.
Knowing when to add water helps prepare the manure better. All you need is to check out the compost and see whether it is breaking down slowly by poking into the pile. If the pile has some dry patches, it is time to add water. It would be best if you kept turning the pile and checking the presence of dry patches.
Whenever you get some dry patches as you turn the pile, you should remember that it is time to add some more water. At the same time, you must remember that you do not need to soak the pile but sprinkle little water at a time.
What happens if the compost is too wet?
When your compost pile is too wet, it affects the organisms’ performance of breaking down the organic material. The microorganisms need just enough water and air to carry out the breaking process of the organic material. A well-balanced compost pile has several air gaps between the organic matters.
But when the pile is soaked with water, the water fills the gaps, making it hard to support bacteria and other organisms’ work. As a result, other anaerobic bacteria that do not need oxygen to begin working on the pile resulting in a horrible smell. Therefore, it is essential to make sure you have enough moisture to decompose but not soaking the pile with water.
Used human hair can be a problem. It is disposed of as waste in developed countries. Some individuals even dispose of it through the drainage system, which ends up blocking the drainage system. The accumulation of human and pet hairs on waste streams can be a problem for the environment.
The good news is that it does not have to be an issue. Every savvy gardener understands that composting hair is a free way of converting hair into nutrients for plants. Hair contains nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, sulfur, and oxygen. So can you compost hair? The answer is yes, but there are some pros and cons to keep in mind. So keep reading to find out if composting hair is for you!
Similar to other composting techniques, it can be traced back to Traditional Chinese Agriculture. It was also used in India. Farmers in India mixed human hair with cattle dung to create compost. Waste hair in India was also used to manufacture fertilizers. Farmers also applied it directly to the soil. Applying it directly to soil allows the soil to absorb more nitrogen nutrients.
Is Hair Compostable?
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Although hair is overlooked, it is a source of nitrogen nutrients. Hair also contains other vital nutrients, including Sulphur, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. You can compose pet hair and human hair. Learn more below:
Hair from pets and other animals is compostable. You can obtain dog hair during grooming. Dog hair can also be obtained during vacuuming. Individuals who own high-shedding dog breeds are in luck. However, you should take care if you will be collecting the pet hair through vacuuming. The vacuumed hair might contain soil and dirt, which will slow down the process. Moreover, it might also have flakes of skin and human hair.
Solid floors like tiles and wooden flooring are ideal since you can use vacuumed dog hair. Things are even better for you if you have a high-shedding dog and you routinely vacuum your floor.
Apart from vacuuming and grooming, you can also obtain hair from dog groomers. All you need to do is ensure that it does not contain waste products.
Is human hair compostable? You will be glad to know that you can compost waste human hair instead of disposing of it. Huma hair contains vital nutrients. Combining it with composted waste material and byproducts creates a great source of nutrients for plants.
You can obtain waste human hair from hair salons and barbershops. Cat hair is also compostable.
Benefits of Composting Hair
Composting hair is becoming popular due to various reasons. Apart from adding nutrients to the soil, composting hair is also good for the environment. Keep reading to discover the top benefits of composting hair:
Composting Hair is Good for the Environment
Waste hair is readily available from groomers, hair salons, barbershops, and hairdressers. Composting reduces waste while providing vital nutrients to the plants. Moreover, using hair compost is healthier for the environment than chemicals and manufactured fertilizers.
Composting Hair Reduces Landfill Waste
Although most people think that organic material, including hair, will decompose in a landfill, the reality is the process is slow. Besides, the nutrients produced when it decomposes will go to waste.
Reducing Trash in Your Home
Composting hair is a free and cheap way of reducing the amount of trash going into your trash can. You will not have to buy new trash bags when you compost your hair and pet hair.
A Source of Nutrients to the Soil
Compost hair adds vital nutrients like carbon and nitrogen to the soil. Plants require carbon and nitrogen for photosynthesis and growth. Adding compost hair also helps the soil to retain water for plant use.
Adds Microorganisms to the Soil
Compost hair contains microorganisms, including fungi, protozoa, and bacteria. Adding these microorganisms to the soil improves aeration and convert nitrogen to a usable form. The microorganisms also repel plant diseases.
Disadvantages of Composting
Let us look at the common disadvantages of composting below:
Composting hair nee so much work and monitoring.
It may attract snakes, bugs, and rats.
Compost hair produces an unpleasant smell.
How to Compost Hair
Composting hair is not as hard as many people think. It is as simple as sprinkling it among the other composing green ingredients. It is advisable to spread it out to speed up the process. You can also place a tarp over the compost pile to speed up the process. The tarp retains moisture to break down the particles.
We all know that composting is not only a valuable green tool, but the result is the addition of nutrient-rich soil to your home garden, but also a significant reduction in your monthly household waste bill. However, many may not know how much litter should or should not be added to the compost heap, i.e., the use of compost meat. So keep reading the following meat composting information for more information on this topic.
Can meat be composted? Yes, meat attracts microorganisms that require anaerobic (hypoxic) conditions to decompose. The reason people advise you not to do it is that meat attracts pests when placed in containers or glass on the floor. There is a simple solution to this problem: bury it. Blood and bone meal is a valuable organic fertilizer.
Aerobic versus anaerobic conditions
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The compost ingredients break down microorganisms that need aerobic conditions (the presence of oxygen) to thrive. Repeatedly flipping the pile with a shovel or nail results in the necessary oxygen. However, meat attracts microorganisms that require anaerobic conditions for decomposition (hypoxia).
A beneficial scenario with little effort, composting is the natural decomposition of organic waste under controlled conditions that allow small organisms – bacteria, fungi, and protozoa – to turn the waste into beautiful, rich soil. The question is, what organic matter is suitable for the compost room. People usually think of grass clippings and sliced fruit and vegetables, but what about meat? Meat is organic, isn’t it? So one might ask, “Can you compost meat scraps?”
About meat compost, If we consider the compost’s meat as an organic matter, the easy answer is “Yes, you can compost the meat waste”. However, the issue is a bit complicated.
Benefits of composting meat
In some cases, meat compost is both desirable and necessary. Some of these conditions include large-scale agricultural activities that have to get rid of animal carcasses, large composting centers that handle tons of municipal organic waste, and home composers who have a strong belief in disposing of potentially composting items.
Is composting meat safe?
When the meat is placed in the compost room, the aforementioned anaerobic microorganisms will produce scented by-products. This, in turn, attracts flies, worms, pests, and nearby cats and dogs.
For good reasons, some regions prohibit meat composting due to the real potential for pests like raccoons, rats, and neighbor dogs that sneak into the compost pile and not only make a mess but may spread disease as well.
It can also bring pathogens like e coli bacteria that can live for two years. So if you are pregnant, be careful with composting meat.
Hopefully, however, there are no signs of these bacteria in leftover meat trying to compost. However, you can become seriously ill or worse if the resulting compost contaminates the grown food.
Ways to compost meat
Some compost bins allow you to break down meat, dairy products, and food cooked in oil. These compost bins are airtight and use humidity, temperature, and oxygen control systems. These containers come in different sizes for home and commercial use. Many contain mechanical stirrers or aerators and are isolated from raising the internal temperature, which encourages specific bacteria that break down proteins in the meat.
The following procedures can be used to decompose meat:
Step 1 – Chop meat scrap and mix scrap are powerful sources of nitrogen for compost, with plenty of carbon sources such as sawdust. Microorganisms require an ideal ratio of organic sources, close to a 30: 1 carbon to nitrogen ratio, for best results.
Step 2 – Bury a small amount of leftover meat in a worm pocket inside the worm basket. Avoid reopening the pocket for as long as possible, recommends Appelhof’s “Worms Eat My Garbage”. Watch the container for overheating, indicating that the meat has added a lot of nitrogen to the compost to maintain the worms’ safe temperature; Residues must be removed. Abelhoff wrote that if the container prevented overheating after several months, you would find crumbling compost and well-collected bones, indicating that the carpets have treated the debris.
Step 3 – Hide the meat and sawdust mixture in your compost box to the depths outside, or bury it directly in the garden if you don’t have a worm box or quantities might drown in the trash. Covering the waste well prevents the formation of odors and attracts insects. Put a handful or two of lime on the leftovers and protect the manure with a hen wire or fence; Add a space.
Step 4 – Put the meat scrap in a compost system made from a basket buried in the ground and a bare surface to add compost material. Many of these products are available at home centers and online. Place large stone slabs or stones around the base to prevent rodents from entering the basket. Apply sawdust, wood chips, or dry grass to meat scraps to avoid odors.
So, it is possible to compost meat, but there are some factors to keep in mind. Like odor, pests, and bacteria. But with the instructions that are mentioned in this article, we are able to successfully compost meat scraps. You decide if it is for you or not. Good luck!
Buying Guide for the Best Above Ground Sprinkler System
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Your lawn is alive and growing and just like any other living thing, it needs attention and care in order to flourish. One of the best ways you can show your greenery some love is to always keep it watered. And the best way to do that, especially if you have a midsize lawn, is with an Above Ground Sprinkler System.
Above ground lawn sprinklers provides precise control – better than you can get by walking around with a garden hose and manually watering your garden – but if used incorrectly, a sprinkler can do more harm than good. How much water should you utilize? When is the best time of day to water your yard? How exactly does a lawn sprinkler work?
We have put together this shopping guide for the Best above Ground Sprinkler System to answer your questions and help you know what to look for while you shop.
The top 4 best above ground sprinklers systems are:
GrowGreen Garden Sprinkler 360 degrees
Orbit 58257N Metal 3-arm with wheeled base
NiceFit Lawn Sprinkler System
Orbit 56186N Brass Impact Sprinkler
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There are numerous factors that can cause your grass to receive an insufficient amount of water. No rain and high temperatures are the most obvious reasons, but low humidity and high winds can also keep your lawn from absorbing the water it requires.
Lawn watering 101
Just like people, gardens need water to survive. Since grass is highly efficient at collecting and using water, keeping your lawn hydrated is a rather simple task. There are merely two things you need to know to be a master lawn waterer: when and how much to water.
When to water
Believe it or not, when you water your lawn is very crucial. The best time is during the morning after the sun has come up but before it gets too hot. Why? The water needs time to soak into the soil in order for the grass to absorb it. If you water your garden in the afternoon, the heat of the sun will evaporate the water before it can be absorbed. Also, water pooling on the grass after the sun has set can form conditions that are ideal for diseases to take hold and spread.
How much to water
Your grass doesn’t need tons of water. About one inch of water each week is typically sufficient – and that includes rainwater. One inch of water is usually enough for the soil to become moist six to eight inches deep, and that’s the sweet spot for grass.
Types of lawn waterers
Before taking a closer look at lawn sprinklers, we’ll take a quick glance at other options, just to be certain that the above-ground sprinkler is the one best suited to your needs and requirements.
Soaker hose: This hose is made of a porous substance like a fine-crumb rubber that lets water seep slowly through to soak a long, narrow space. This alternative is better for garden rows than yards.
Stationary sprinkler: This sprinkler connects to your hose and sprays water in a singular pattern over a fairly small area. Although it’s easily moved, this type of sprinkler is great for small areas.
Oscillating sprinkler: This is a short tube that lies on the ground spraying water out through multiple holes as the tube rolls back and forth, creating a large, oscillating arc of water. This sprinkler works best for large, rectangular patches of grass.
Impulse sprinkler: You can recognize this sprinkler by the distinctive “click, click, click” sound it makes while rotating. This sprinkler squirts out a jet of water and is a great choice for larger areas that are subject to occasional wind. It’s also adjustable, so you can focus on specific areas that require a little more attention.
Traveling sprinkler: Picture a tractor with a hose. The traveling sprinkler rolls about in a preset pattern to cover large or oddly shaped spaces.
In-ground sprinkler system: This entire system is permanently installed in your lawn. It’s generally automated and will cover whatever area it’s designed to cover.
Above ground lawn sprinkler facts
An above-ground sprinkler system has a base that rests on the grass, so the sprinkler can simply be picked up and moved while other models have wheels, so the sprinkler can be dragged along when you pull the hose. Some models have a stake, so the sprinkler can be accurately positioned but later moved if desired. It generally has three arms, each containing one or more openings or adjustable nozzles for the water to spray out.
How a lawn sprinkler works
Remember Newton’s third law of motion? It says, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That’s what makes a rotating sprinkler work so there’s no need for a motor or electricity. The water spraying forward out of the openings pushes the arms backward, making the sprinkler spin.
If your model features adjustable nozzles, you can position them at the angle you desire – the closer to 90° you get (the water spraying straight up), the smaller the coverage area will be.
Reducing the water pressure slows down the rotation and minimizes the distance that the water travels.
Increasing the water pressure accelerates the rotation and increases the distance that the water travels.
Seeing that you are in control of the size of the coverage area, a sprinkler is a versatile tool that works in a variety of situations. It works rapidly – most models deliver an inch of water in about an hour – and it provides smooth and even coverage, making it great for small to medium lawns or gardens. Because of its circular pattern, a rotating sprinkler is not the best selection if you want to water a long, narrow patch of ground.
Although your garden needs about an inch of water each week, it doesn’t have to be done in just one day. If you fancy the idea of running your rotating sprinkler for shorter periods of time, divide the watering into two or three times a week.
Above Ground Sprinkler factors to consider
Distance and coverage
Sprinklers vary considerably in the coverage area. If you have a large lawn, check to ensure your sprinkler can handle the job. It may be acceptable to move the sprinkler to two or three different places, but if you need to move the unit much more than that, you might want to consider stepping up to a model with greater coverage.
Plastic vs. metal
Plastic has a shorter lifespan than metal, and it may warp or be damaged by direct sunlight. Most rotating sprinklers tend to be created primarily of plastic, which makes them more affordable. If you prefer metal, you’ll typically pay a little more, but the sprinkler should last longer.
Adjustable nozzles allow you to direct and control where the water goes. This can make a rotary sprinkler the perfect choice in a number of different lawn-watering situations.
A quick-connect feature makes it effortless to hook your sprinkler to your hose. If the sprinkler you’re considering doesn’t have this option available, you can buy it separately, but it will cost as much as – if not more than – the sprinkler itself.
Did you know? That a waste-free yard is not only environmentally safe but also reduces the risk of your family’s health issues. This is why we recommend investing in one of these In-Ground Pet Waste Disposal Systems.
For your Consideration.
The type of soil you have can affect how long you run your sprinkler. Sandy soil drains rapidly, so your yard will need to be watered more regularly. Clay holds water, making it possible to water your garden less frequently.
Above Ground Lawn Sprinkler prices
The overall price range for rotating sprinklers isn’t excessive, between $10 and $30 and up.
Inexpensive: Spend up to $10 and you’ll get a very basic and straightforward rotating sprinkler. Connect it and turn it on and you probably won’t have many options.
Mid-range: Your best prices are in the $10 to $20 range. These types of above-ground sprinklers in this price range have adjustable nozzles and are constructed relatively well. Spend a little more, $20 to $30, and you’ll find heavier-duty sprinklers that have all the flexibility you require.
Expensive: For more than $30, you’ll find kits that include quick connectors and potentially a tripod stand that helps keep the sprinkler from moving or tipping over.
A quick and effortless way to gauge the health of your grass is to walk across your yard. If your footprints vanish quickly, the grass is healthy. If your footprints linger, your yard is thirsty and dry!
Q. My sprinkler is making puddles. What should I do?
A. For some reason (dryness or maybe soil composition), the ground is not absorbing the water the way it should. The solution is to water more regularly but for a shorter time period. If puddles form after approximately 20 minutes, try watering for half that long.
Q. I think I killed my grass because I forgot to water it and it turned brown. What should I do?
A. Your lawn is stronger than you might think. Keep in mind, it can survive both fall and winter! If you’ve been taking good care of your grass and it turns brown, it has probably just gone dormant. Once you turn your rotating sprinkler back on and let the grass soak up some water, it will turn green again.
Q. How do I know when I’ve watered my lawn long enough?
A. If you’re unsure of how long it takes for an inch of water to come out of your rotating sprinkler, you can do the container test. Place several small containers around your yard, turn on the rotating sprinkler, and start timing. Once the containers have an inch of water in them, note the time, and then shut off the sprinkler. However long it took, that’s how long you should be leaving the water running. Alternatively, you can execute this test with a rain gauge.
Composting is a method of waste disposal that involves the recycling of organic waste by decomposing it naturally to produce a soil fertilizer. Decayed organic material is called compost. It is a fertilizer that is added to soil to enrich it as well as promote growth in plants. This essential method is useful in the gardens, and it also helps reduce household waste and decrease methane emissions in landfills.
Why Compost Eggshells and Coffee Grounds?
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Plants have to get their nourishment from the soil to grow and sustain life. The insufficiency of these nutrients can cause poor growth, low production of fruits, and vulnerability to diseases. Minerals in the soil are essential for it provides the plants with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.
There are several minerals that plants need, and the most important is nitrogen. It is a mineral essential for the process of photosynthesis. Without nitrogen, plants can not build their cells that will eventually lead to stunted growth.
Coffee grounds have more or less 2% nitrogen by volume that makes them ideal as compost or fertilizer. Calcium is another necessary mineral for it helps strengthen the plant’s cell wall. A well-built cell wall protects plants from diseases that are caused by fungal and bacterial invasion. Eggshells contain calcium that is essential to every plant.
Adding eggshells and coffee grounds compost to the soil is beneficial, especially for potted plants where the roots have a limited source of nutrients.
How to Make Eggshells and Coffee Grounds Compost?
Some people would add eggshells on top of the soil. Though it can serve an aesthetic purpose, doing so will limit its potential to provide calcium that is essential for plants. If the eggshells are unrinsed, it may attract unwanted pests that can be detrimental to your plants. Burying the eggshells to the soil after it is rinsed and ground up would be way better. It will allow the nutrients to blend well and distribute evenly.
You can also add an ample amount of crushed eggshells to your regular deposit of compost or create a water mixture. A mixture of one (1) gallon of water to one (1) cup of crushed eggshells will make a good eggshell tea that you can pour directly into the plant’s soil when watering.
Mixing the coffee grounds to your soil will add value to it but be careful and make sure that it is well mixed. It has to balance for coffee grounds contain caffeine that’s not good for your plant. Adding leaves, paper, or vegetable waste to your coffee ground compost is ideal as fertilizer. The coffee grounds should be at least a quarter part of the entire compost.
Benefits of Eggshells and Coffee Grounds Compost
Eggshells and coffee grounds can help your plants get the nutrients they need for healthy growth. The best part is, these ingredients are supplies available in your kitchen. Eggshells will provide plants a calcium boost, and it is most beneficial for baby plants as it would aid their growth. For grown plants, eggshells can help get rid of end rot in plants. It happens if there is a calcium imbalance in plants.
While coffee grounds is useful to add the necessary nitrogen to the soil, it also has its added benefits. It can improve water drainage, and it makes the tilling of soil easier. Coffee grounds help the plant absorb the nutrients quicker.
What to do with the Compost?
Now that you have your compost ready, it’s time to make a potting mix by adding the compost as fertilizer. Mix one half potting soil to a quarter of the compost with eggshells and another quarter of the coffee grounds compost. It is an easy supplement that you can provide your plants. A perfect duo that can provide nitrogen and calcium that are essential minerals for your plants to grow to their utmost potential.
If you already have all your plants potted and you do not want to re-pot them anytime soon, instead of creating a potting mix, you can use the compost as mulch. Just add a mixture of eggshells and coffee grounds on top of the soil’s surface. Mulching will improve the quality of soil, thus promoting healthy plant growth.
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There is something about gardening in rich soil. Planting seeds or starts in soil that just can’t wait to get growing is an indescribable feeling. Even those of us who once couldn’t seem to grow dirt get the excitement of watching new plants be born again and again.
But good soil isn’t an accident. Gardeners work at it, and one of the things they do is compost.
Many like aerobic composting. That’s the kind where you have a pile of organic matter, and every once in a while you grab a pitchfork or shovel and go show the pile who is boss.
And, truth be told, it’s pretty invigorating to stab that heap of leaves, dry grass, pine needles, and assorted kitchen waste, lift it up and FLIP! it over. Makes a person feel like roaring some days. Of course, there are the days when the rain is running off the tip of your nose and your back is gearing up for a strike…On those days, it might be a good idea to try anaerobic composting.
What is anaerobic composting?
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Anaerobic composting is composting, just like the type of composting that has backs threatening to walk out on gardeners. With…a few differences.
The first thing you might notice about this “new” type of composting is that there is no pile in the back yard. Start it in a tumbler, close the lid, and turn it now and then. Whereas air helped the pile become the beautiful soil amendment gardeners love, this new way doesn’t allow air in at all. That is the first major difference.
You just need to get everything nice and wet, then put a lid on it. You might be amazed. It seems like EVERYTHING needs air. Except this.
How long does anaerobic composting take?
The second big difference is the length of time needed for completion. Without any air, it takes a year! You might want to begin another batch. Try one in a garbage bag, for the second batch. Leave it out on a cement slab or something, where it can soak up lots of sun.
The garbage bag can be done in as little as six months.
Does anaerobic composting attract more pests?
This is the part many people really like. No waking up at 4 in the morning to the sound of raccoons fighting over something in the compost pile. Because it was sealed, they couldn’t smell it, so they leave it alone. Finally, no more cowering in bed, hoping the raccoons will make friends and head off to the nearest raccoon bar before they get hurt.
Be careful when you finally open up the sealed composter, though. There might be a tiny pest issue. Like about a zillion flies slamming into your face! Oh, well. Consider them miniature raccoons.
What about worms?
You can also try burying the compost container halfway underground, just to see whether anything will be different. The worms tend to like it after a while. Perhaps the PH level is too acidic for their little tummies at first. Not having any air causes the PH level to be pretty acidic.
How do you use anaerobic compost?
Well, as said before, give it a good year to break down. Some call it curing, simply because the alternative is to talk about it rotting, like a dead body. Anyway, let it cure for a year.
Then, take it out and let it sit in the air for about a month. This will help get the acidity and PH levels to a point where they won’t injure any growing things. Then mix it in with soil, a little at a time.
Check for smell as you go. If the smell is pretty strong, the compost isn’t ready.
What to use to make anaerobic compost?
Plants past their prime, green leaves, some grass, stuff that you clip or pull from the garden can go in. Avoid putting in woody branches in large quantities and weeds with a bunch of roots.
If the soil you are putting in is clay, add some pebbles. Sand is not a good substitute for pebbles.
The main thing is to be patient. Check it now and then. If it gets dry, wet it down a bit.