What if you compost incorrectly

Compost: These mistakes should be avoided with your compost

Practically! Kitchen waste and eggshells end up on a compost as well as leaves and whatever else arises from gardening. In addition, a compost provides fertile soil, completely free of charge. But a lot can go wrong with composting. Find out which mistakes you should absolutely avoid.

Not everything is allowed on the compost

On a compost heap, organic waste is broken down by earthworms, bacteria and fungi and converted into so-called humus. So the compost is not just a heap of rubbish, but a way of processing raw materials in a natural way. That is why only organic residues and waste belong on the heap. Stones, ashes or the contents of the vacuum cleaner bag have no place on the compost, these substances cannot be processed.

If there are wilts or rot in the root or stem area, these parts of the plant should not be disposed of on the compost. Because the pathogens of these diseases often develop resistant permanent spores. These can spread when the compost is spread out. Seed-bearing weeds and root weeds, such as couch grass and groundgrass, do not belong on the compost.

For most plant waste, on the other hand, composting is harmless. For example, there are no problems with plants that are affected by powdery mildew, leaf spot diseases or aphids.

The right location: never too humid

Find a sheltered, partially shaded place in the garden for your compost heap. The underground should be level and straight. In no case should the compost heap be in a depression in which rainwater can collect. The waterlogging prevents the air from circulating, the compost begins to mold and no longer works properly. Also, when choosing a location, make sure that the compost is easy to reach and that there is enough space around it to work.

Good compost through variety

To get good compost, you shouldn't just throw the same waste in the same place in the heap out of habit. The residues can only decompose optimally if there is variety on the compost. So mix coarse with fine and wet waste with dry. Some things take longer to implement, such as eggshells and whole weed plants. Throw them in the middle of the compost, it will be warm there and the conversion speed at the most.

Compost autumn leaves

The leaves that are thrown off the trees in autumn are mostly poor in nutrients. You should therefore mix the leaves with nitrogen-rich garden waste, for example lawn cuttings or vegetable scraps. The easiest way to pick up the leaves from the lawn in autumn is with the lawnmower. The leaves are shredded and mixed with the clippings so they can rot well. Leaves from fruit trees, hornbeam or maple can be composted well. Birch, oak, and walnut foliage is high in tannic acid, which slows down rotting. Therefore, only add small amounts of the leaves from these trees to the compost.

Find out which plants keep your bed fit here.

Build it yourself or buy it ready-made?

If you want to lend a hand yourself, build a slatted composter with wood from the hardware store. One square meter of floor space is ideal for a larger garden. If you have less space and want to see quick results, you can buy a quick composter. However, these composts work best when you fill them up completely in one fell swoop.

In both composters, implementation begins after around three days. You can remove the humus from the quick composter after about ten weeks, in the open, self-made compost it takes ten to twelve months until everything is rotten.