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Interactive video lesson plan for: Stop Buying Compost

Activity overview:

To gardeners, compost is considered "black gold" because of its many benefits in the garden. Homemade compost is invaluable in the garden – by adding organic matter to the soil, compost can help improve plant growth and health.
To make good compost, you need a 50:50 mix of materials that are rich in nitrogen and carbon. Nitrogen comes from lush green material such as grass clippings whereas Carbon comes from brown material, such as woody stems and cardboard.
For every bucket load of green material, you need to add the same volume of brown. Shredding, chopping or mowing these materials into smaller pieces will help speed the composting process by increasing the surface area.

Things You’ll Need to make your own compost are:
• A sunny corner of the garden
• An equal mix of nitrogen- and carbon-rich waste
• And a Compost bin

• Stand your compost bin directly on the soil – worms and other micro-organisms will speed up the composting process. Find out which compost-bin is best for you. Chicken wire at the base will keep rodents out. Add an equal mix of green and brown materials

Nitrogen-rich waste or greens includes:
• Grass-clippings
• Annual-weeds
• Fruit and veg peelings
• Nettle leaves
• Teabags

Carbon-rich waste or browns includes: 
• Dried-leaves
• Paper or newspaper
• Cardboard
• Straw
• egg boxes and empty toilet-rolls 
• Paper towels
• Paper bag

Speed up the process by turning your heap occasionally with a garden fork to aerate it, mixing the outside ingredients to the inside. When turning the compost-pile, make sure that materials in the center are brought to the outsides, and that materials from the outside edges are brought to the center. Waiting at least two weeks allows the center of the pile to heat up and promotes maximum bacterial-activity. The average composter turns the pile every 3-4 weeks.

Moisture is Also important to support the composting process. Compost should be comparable to the wetness of a wrung-out sponge.
If the pile is too dry, materials will decompose very slowly. Add water during dry periods or when adding large amounts of brown organic material.
If the pile is too wet, turn the pile and mix the materials. Another option is to add dry, brown organic materials.
Bacteria and other microorganisms are the real workers in the compost process. By supplying organic materials, water, and oxygen, the already present bacteria will break-down the plant material into useful compost for the garden. As the bacteria decompose the materials, they release heat, which is concentrated in the center of the pile.
You may also add layers of soil or finished compost to supply more bacteria and speed the composting-process.

How long does it take?
The amount of time needed to produce compost depends on several factors, including the size of the compost-pile, the types of materials, the surface area of the materials, and the number of times the pile is turned.

A pile that is between 3-feet cubed and 5 feet cubed can be ready in about 4-months, depending on the time of year.

DISCLAIMER: The materials and the information contained on Natural ways channel are provided for general and educational purposes only and do not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. None of the information on our videos is a substitute for a diagnosis and treatment by your health professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provide.

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Tagged under: compost,compost, build compost bin, compost home,gardening,organic compost,compost tea,natural fertilizer,organic fertilizer, compost kitchen waste,composting, compost,fertile soil,grow vegetable home,soil,garden,potting mix,plants, recycle kitchen waste, recycle food waste,natural ways

10 questions

1. What is a nickname for compost? (00:00:14)

2. What is the best ratio for mixing nitrogen and carbon materials in compost? (00:00:34)

3. Are dead leaves that have fallen off the tree carbon or nitrogen material? (00:00:29)

4. Why does shredding material into smaller pieces speed up the composting process? (00:00:42)

5. Are dead leaves a source of nitrogen? (00:01:19)

6. Are vegetable scraps a source of carbon? (00:01:33)

7. How can we speed up the composting process? (00:01:51)

8. How wet should compost be? (00:02:27)

9. What do the bacteria do as they decompose the composting materials? (00:02:49)

10. Which one is not a factor that affects how long it takes to make compost? (00:03:12)

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