Steps to take and mistakes to avoid

Composter means recycler of green household and kitchen waste. All the waste makes it possible to obtain a rich compost, ideal for the vegetable garden. But be careful, some practices are to be banned. An expert enlightens you on compost.

With the beautiful days coming, the desire to garden undoubtedly takes hold of you. A natural soil will prove to be invaluable: it is compost. But beware, some gestures are to be banned. Didier Flipo, organic market gardener in Cantal, who manages the YouTube channel “My pleasure kitchen garden” gives us some advice. I begin : “For the compost, either we take a composter, like those offered by the municipalities, or we plan a small square of about one cubic meter. The good idea is to have it not too far from the kitchen because often, if you put it too far away, you are too lazy to put things in the compost. We can remember that if the compost is well done, there will be no odors”.

The market gardener explains the natural phenomenon that occurs during composting: “When we put organic matter in the compost, there will be bacteria and fungi that live in this compost. Most of the work will be done by these bacteria and fungi, and also some small animals. All this will feed on carbonaceous materials. They will do composting: they will humify these organic materials and transform them into humus”. Everything will biodegrade gradually to put it simply, over the months. He specifies : “For a compost to be mature, it takes six months”.

The result of the composting is very useful: “What we will get, we can put it in the garden. It’s something that will nurture in the long run. If I sow radishes, I’m not going to put compost now because by the time the compost takes effect, the radishes will be picked up a long time ago. It’s more of a background job. We are going to make a long-term amendment in fact and suddenly we put it in regularly, we can put it in two to three times a year, for example”.

But can we put everything in the compost? Didier Flipo replies: “We put all the kitchen waste in it, with a few small nuances: we must avoid all the alliums, ie garlic, onion, shallot. We avoid abusing citrus fruits and also aromatic plants because these three families are plants that are very rich in certain essential oils known for their fungicidal and bactericidal properties. If we put too much, we will slow down the compost”. He adds : “We can put all the peelings, the remains of vegetables. There are people who add a little meat from time to time: this is not necessarily a problem. The risk is to attract rats. It’s the same with fish. There is also a risk of odors but these are materials that will compost. We can put exotic fruits”.

Didier Flipo adds: “We can avoid leftover soup, so as not to have a soggy compost. You can put cheese, eggshells. This will add a little limestone to the garden, which is quite good”. He specifies : “If you notice that the compost is starting to look more like rot, you have to stir it, aerate it a little. You can optionally add a little hay or a little straw. We will better balance carbon and nitrogen”. Didier Flipo explains what good compost looks like: “A nice compost, in the process of composting does not smell bad, it is dry but not soggy. It requires intermediate humidity. Once it’s mature, it’ll look like potting soil. It will smell like a smell of undergrowth”.

He still distills a piece of advice:You can put grass in it, but you have to be careful not to put a big layer all at once. It is best to dry the grass first. Otherwise it will rot. If the compost is too wet, you can put a sheet or a tarp, making sure it can breathe. You just have to put on top”. Didier Flipo concluded: “I recommend doing surface composting rather than heap composting. We will put all the kitchen waste directly in the vegetable garden, spreading it out. The good trick is to cover with straw. For permanent mulching, we slide the waste underneath. All proceeds will go to the vegetable garden”. Up to you !

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