What to put and what not to put in the compost bin: organic waste that can be composted and those not to be added to the compost pile.
Here are all the useful information to avoid making those mistakes that could compromise the outcome of the compost.
In the kitchen there is never a shortage of vegetable waste, organic waste that often ends up in the garbage, destined for the incinerator and only rarely for composting companies. A real waste as any organic waste could be used for make good compost and thus nourish our potted plants. Thecompost it is the ideal fertilizer for vegetables, fruit and aromatic plants.
Those who do not know where to find a composter can buy it in stores specializing in gardening items or by taking advantage of online sales, or, again, they can build a DIY composter in a simple and fast way as explained on the page dedicated toHome composting.
The composting allows the recycling of vegetable residues from the garden such as withered flowers, grass, leaves, twigs, straw and much more. From the kitchen, we can get a lot of organic waste such as vegetable peels and leaves, coffee and tea grounds, egg shells, stale bread (to be cut into small pieces before adding it to the composter), plain paper (not colored), ash and much other.
What not to put in the compost
In making compost, however, it can happen that you make some mistakes and throw waste in the compost bin that could compromise the quality of the compost. In order not to run into these errors we will illustrate you what not to put in the compost bin giving you all the necessary information.
Avoid all waste of synthetic origin, non-biodegradable or contaminated with toxic substances. In practice they should not be thrown into the compost heap:
- Residues of diseased or infested plants.
These in fact should never be put in the compost bin; pathogens could survive composting and you could consequently pass them on to new crops using the compost in question
- Lawn mowing, tree and vegetable pruning, treated with pesticides.
The wisest thing would be not to use pesticides for garden or lawn care, in any case know that synthetic products do not degrade during composting.
- Parts of very aggressive weeds.
During the stage thermogenic, the increase in temperature should deactivate the seeds of the weeds and make the compost pile weed-proof ... however this is only true in theory. In addition, remember that a new plant can be born from every fragment of weed root!
- All the herbs that have gone to seed
As stated, composting may not be able to neutralize those weed seeds that, later on, you may find them everywhere in your garden when you go to use compost as a fertilizer.
- Leftover meat and animal fats
They decompose very slowly and could attract animals to the organic pile.
- Cat and dog litter
They could trigger a number of diseases.
- Leftover wood painted or treated with chemicals.
- Coated paper scraps, to be clear that of magazines.
- Fabrics, plastics (even if biodegradable), expired drugs and of course everything that is not biodegradable.
After clearing upwhich organic waste not to throw in the composter, let's see immediately what you can (indeed, must!) add.
What to put in the compost bin
You can compostall thebiodegradable waste. Let's start by analyzing the first two major categories: kitchen waste and garden and vegetable waste.
Among the kitchen scraps, the great classics are:
- Residues from the cleaning of any vegetable, vegetable or legume.
- Peels, cores, seeds, leftovers of the extract.
- Fruits and vegetables gone bad
Among the waste from the vegetable garden and the garden:
- Finely chopped pruning wood.
- Mowing the lawn, only if untreated.
- Dry leaves.
- Withered flowers.
- Stems and leftovers from the garden.
- Weeds that did not produce flowers.
Remember that it mattersrack upthe amount ofdry organicto mix with moist organic. The wet phase and the dry phase must always be well proportioned: if you notice that the composter has materials that are too dry, add water.
Then there are godsorganic waste that can be thrown into the composterbut only in a limited way. This category includes:
- Leaves with waxed foil and coniferous leaves
for example, laurel, magnolia, pine, fir ...
- Cooked foods
they can attract animals, insects and mice
- Leaves and plant parts rich in phenols and tannins
plants often represent a good natural remedy for antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Oak or walnut residues, for example, could slow down the composting process because they are rich in bactericidal substances.
- Citrus peels
They have a very long digestion time.
The litter for dogs, cats, chickens, horses or any other pet animal should not be added to the compost even if you make it with natural materials such as, for example, straw. Because? Because if the composting does not reach high temperatures, dangerous pathogenic organisms could remain.
If you add a lot of citrus peels, to facilitate decomposition, chop them finely. The same goes for banana peels and other dry organic waste.