The six golden rules of composting

Remember one basic thing: the composting process takes place in the presence of oxygen, in contact with air: this is what guarantees the transformation in the substances used and what prevents bad smells.

How do you ensure enough oxygen?

1) don't compress the material, take advantage of its porousness which is what automatically exchanges the oxygen-rich atmospheric air with used-up air (in which the oxygen has been consumed);

2) mix the material periodically so that this exchange can take place. The less porous the material (when there is less 'structural' material such as wood fragments, straw, tough dead leaves, torn cardboard), the more often you have to mix everything and vice versa.

The six basic rules for making a compost heap

1) choose the right place: the best solution is somewhere with easy year-round access in the garden or allotment;

2) aim for a balanced mixture of substances: in order to achieve a balanced quantity of all the elements necessary for the microbic activity, to achieve the best level of humidity, and guarantee the necessary porousness for exchanging the air;

3) make the heap into a suitable shape and size: a height of around 60cm is best as this retains the heat produced by the microbic transformation;

4) guarantee the right amount of humidity;

5) ensure the oxygen supply: mix the material, for example with a pitchfork, to change the air and revitalise the process;

6) check the temperature.

See also:
How to make organic fertilizer
Time scales in composting

The advantages of composting

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