What to Do With Your Old Compost

 What to Do With Your Old Compost

Toward the end of the growing season, you may be faced with the dilemma of what to do with old, spent, used compost from plant pots and grow bags, especially if you only have a small yard or garden.

The containers are left with the compost and potting soil.

I grow many of my vegetables in containers outside our front door, and when the plants finish their growing season, I'm faced with the problem of how to dispose of the hundreds of liters of old, used compost I've left behind.

By the end of the growing season, the plants will have used all the nutrients from the fertilizer. In fact, the nutrients in fertilizer are depleted within six weeks, which is why you need to feed your plants. Many people think that old compost is useless and throw it away, but this is not the most environmentally friendly option.

What to Do With Old, Spent Compost

Make new compost. Use it to make new soil or compost (instructions below).

Use it as mulch. Use it as mulch over flower or vegetable beds. Not only will this improve your soil (especially if you have very clay or very sandy soil), but it will automatically blend into your existing soil through the worms as they move between the layers.

Use it to level your lawn. Use it to support a sloped garden or outdoor border.

As a bottom layer. Use it to partially fill the bottom of deep plant pots or containers to reduce the amount of fresh fertilizer you need, especially for plants with particularly deep roots.

As an upper class. Spread it over your lawn and rake it with a straw rake until it is barely visible. It's good for the grass, and insects will remove it to improve the soil.

To grow carrots. Use it to plant carrots next year. Since carrots need very few nutrients, they will produce better roots if aged compost is used. Having too many nutrients will cause baby carrots to grow into larger carrots with less foliage than carrots with lots of leaves, and it also increases the risk of root canker sores.

As a bed. If you have a place where you can dry old manure, you can recycle it as horse or cow bedding, then compost it by adding manure later.

How to Make Good Compost From Old

The following steps can be done in your compost bin or simply in a compost pile placed at the edge of your garden.

1. Layer

The trick to mixing old compost with new is to alternate layers of old and new material. This way, the new will break into the old and add the quality you want for next year. If you just put all your old compost in a compost bin, you'll have a bin full of useless compost next year. Be sure to include layers of newspaper, grass clippings, vegetable peelings, etc.

2. Mix It Up

Change the content types used in layers. For example, you might start with a layer of spent compost, followed by a layer of shredded newspaper, followed by hedge clippings, then old compost, then grass clippings, kitchen waste, and mulch. Try not to apply more layers. More than six inches thick at a time.

3. Keep It Light

It's especially important to have air between the layers, so don't pack them too tightly, and try to keep the layers thin, as materials like grass clippings quickly turn into a dirty layer of mud if enough air can't get in. pile

4. Add Worms

If you can find them, try adding as many worms as possible because they will spread the new material along with the old as they dig through the compost, breaking it down by eating and redepositing as nature intended.

5. Continue Adding Layers

As the material decomposes, the surface of the bin will decrease, and you can add more material to the mix.

6. Turn With a Rake or Fork

If you have a compost pile instead of a trash can, you should regularly "turn" the pile with a fork so that all the material can reach the hottest part of the pile, which is usually the center.

7. Cover

You will need to cover the pile with a waterproof layer such as polythene to prevent it from getting too wet during the rainy season. If you don't, your compost will take a long time to develop because the heat can't build up enough.

8. Keep Moist (But Not Wet)

Make sure the pile never dries out, and spray it with a hose if necessary.

Things to add to old compost
Hair clippings (human or pet)
Vegetable peels
Newspaper or paper
Lawn mowing and hedge trimming
Tea bags or ground coffee
Annual herbs (not perennials, because if you put them in your compost bin they will grow again next year)
Rabbit, guinea pig, or kiwi bedding (if it is straw, grass, or paper and not synthetic)
Waste from vegetarian pets (not from carnivorous pets such as dogs or cats)
Egg carton.

Old vegetable leaves such as potato plants, bean plant remains, tomato plants, carrot tops, etc. Bean roots are especially good because they contain nitrogen nodules, which will be great for next year's crops.

Things that are not for compost.

Cat litter or pet waste.
Colored or shiny papers.
Diseased leaves 

If you don't want to attract insects, flies or mice, keep them away from the compost:
Meat or bones (cooked or raw).
Cooked vegetables.
Painting scraps or food scraps.
Anything with mayonnaise or sauce.

How long does it take to compost?

The compost should be ready to use in about six months as long as it is dry. You can also improve the decomposition rate of your compost by adding your own urine to it. Human urine contains bacteria that help the compost break down successfully, so if you can add a little urine to the mix, it will help you create high-quality compost much faster.

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