The compost in autumn
A lot of organic waste accumulates in the garden and on the balcony , especially in autumn : withered summer flowers, harvested vegetables and leaves from shrubs and trees. But what to do with all that green? Would you like to dispose of this organic material sensibly and bring it back into the natural cycle in an environmentally friendly way ? Then composting is the right method for you.
What are the 5 advantages of composting in your own garden?
• A valuable soil improver is produced from the waste in a short time
• There are no transport routes if you do your own composting
• Saves money on disposal
• Soil rich in humus stores more climate-damaging CO2
• Conserves resources
Composting is ideal for obtaining organic material. A distinction is made according to the type of composter. Either use a quick composter or a traditional pile with wooden slats perimeter.
With both processes, organic material is turned into high-quality mature compost. Which system you choose depends largely on your individual preferences and the spatial conditions. Learn about the benefits of the different types of composting below.
These include, among others:
• Space requirement
• Amount of organic matter produced
• Optical point of view
What is the difference between open and closed composting?
Thermal composter/ quick composter
Ideal for large, natural gardens
Suitable for smaller gardens and apartment buildings
wooden slats and grave fork
Acquisition costs apply
Suitable for large amounts of organic waste
Ideal for small amounts of green waste
No matter which type of composting you choose, the principle is always the same. Composting is the easiest and most effective way to utilize the organic material from the balcony and garden. What should be considered when composting? With our tips you will get the best compost for soil improvement.
What must be considered when composting?
Garden waste such as faded balcony flowers and cut parts of plants are suitable for composting. Therefore, it is optimal to start composting in the fall.
• Dispose of diseased parts of plants in the organic waste bin, because some pathogens survive rotting.
• Kitchen scraps such as potato peelings, leftover fruit, coffee grounds and egg shells are ideal for composting.
• Grass clippings and fresh leaves contain a lot of moisture. To avoid mold growth, you should let the lawn clippings wilt a little and only put the leaves on the compost when they are dry.
• Ideally, you should alternate layers of coarse and fine material on top of your compost. Good rotting is ensured thanks to sufficient ventilation.
• By adding compost accelerator you encourage the activity of the microorganisms in the compost.
• Chestnut, oak and plane tree leaves contain a lot of tannic acid. These should therefore only be disposed of in small quantities via the household compost.
• Leaves are generally ideal for composting. If there are large amounts of leaves, it is advisable to layer the leaves alternately with perennial residues and kitchen waste. Leaves should also be shredded before they end up in the compost. Adding stone flour helps neutralize the tannic acid in the leaves.
What happens to the compost in the fall
If you are new to composting your own organic waste, leave the compost heap in its original place over the winter. Earthworms and microorganisms decompose the garden waste and turn it into valuable humus. The duration of the rotting essentially depends on the composter, the condition of the organic material, the temperatures and the humidity.
You can carry out the following care work on your compost before winter:
Converting the organic residues
Turning over the organic material improves the mixing of the compost and speeds up rotting. Compost in the thermal composter or in a small heap does not have to be turned over. However, in larger compost plants, turning over after 2-3 months is beneficial for the compost quality.
Application of the finished ripening compost
Under ideal conditions, the decomposition process of the organic material goes so far within 6-9 months that you have a ready ripe compost. Here, the nutrients are stably bound and the natural product for soil improvement and mulching can be applied. Compost is also ideal for filling raised beds.
Our gardening tip: Read more about this in our blog post “Raised beds — a garden on a small area”.
By sifting through the mature compost soil, you ensure that coarse leftovers do not lie in the garden, but can be added to the compost heap again. The finely crumbly end product is spread 1 cm high on empty beds between perennials, roses, hedges and trees. It is important that the compost is only slightly worked in and not buried. In this way you ensure that the soil is effectively improved by humus substances and that the storage capacity for air and water in the soil increases. The result is rich root growth and lush plants.
Worth knowing: In contrast to the finished mature compost, the so-called raw or fresh compost is harvested after less than half a year. The rotting process is not yet complete here and nutrients are constantly being released, which leads to a significant fertilizing effect. Therefore, this type of compost is not suitable for indoor plants, seeds, seedlings and sensitive crops. For crops with high nutrient requirements such as cabbage, potatoes or tomatoes, the compost can be used in the early rotting stage.