Many people are more environment friendly and responsible today. One of the ways to help out in this area is by using compost as fertilizer. Compost is the decomposed remains of organic matter, which means it originates from plants and animals.

Compost is mixed in with the soil in gardening and agriculture. It supplies needed nutrients and improves the structure of the soil. The animal and plant material is basically decomposed by tiny microorganisms which are invisible to the naked eye along with bacteria and fungi. However, some larger creatures such as ants, snails, slugs, millipedes and worms can also help speed up the process and may eventually become part of the compost themselves.

Decomposing will occur naturally anywhere the organisms can survive. When it is done in a controlled environment it is known as composting. By controlling the surroundings, composting will decompose the organic material quicker than nature can since the microorganisms have a place to thrive. If your compost pile has the right mix of water, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon, the microorganisms will be attracted to the pile and will start decomposing the material.

The fastest composting occurs when the materials in your pile have about 30 times more carbon than nitrogen. These high carbon items include things such as leaves, sawdust, woodchips, corrugated cardboard and newsprint. Items that are higher in nitrogen will provide protein and nutrition for the decomposing organisms. These include weeds, hay, grass, fruit and vegetable matter and vegetarian animal manure. If you mix the high carbon items with the high nitrogen ones, your composting will happen quicker. If you just throw all of your organic material into a pile, composting will take place naturally over time. However, if you use a controlled composter, control the temperature and mix and adjust the ingredients, it will speed up the process.

Some compost piles might give off a bad odor and you may be able to neutralize this by using mineral powders to help absorb the smells.

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