5 waste that doesn't belong in a compost pit

 5 waste that doesn't belong in a compost pit

Experienced gardeners know that compost is one of the most effective and environmentally friendly fertilizers to support the natural fertility of the soil. However, not every humus guarantees the collection of a rich harvest, since not all organic waste is suitable for compost, and some are completely dangerous for the future harvest due to the threat of the spread of pathogenic bacteria, weeds, as well as a massive invasion of rodents and other garden pests.


The seemingly harmless tops of potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and bell peppers are a potentially dangerous source of late blight. The causative agent of the disease is formed on the leaves of plants by the end of summer, which coincides with the time frame for laying the compost pit. During the decomposition of organic matter, pathogenic bacteria do not die, retaining the ability to reproduce throughout the entire composting time. Getting into the soil together with humus, late blight infects seedlings, which causes a dangerous cycle of infection. In addition, the compost from the tops is more watery and also has a pronounced unpleasant odor. Experienced gardeners recommend burning the tops to obtain ash, which is no less useful in agriculture.


Unlike tops, potato tubers do not pose a serious threat to the soil and future plantings. However, experts urge to abandon the composting of both the vegetable itself and its peel. Once in a warm place, potatoes germinate through the compostable materials, and also release excess moisture, which is most dangerous for humus. In a waterlogged substrate, the risk of anaerobic processes (decay), which prevents the ripening of the fertilizer, increases.


Every thrifty owner of a personal plot asks the question of optimal processing of volunteers. Often, apples that have fallen from a tree are sent not only to pies and blanks, but also to a compost pit. Naturally, unsuitable fruits contaminated with pathogenic bacteria enter it. Subsequently, rotten apples become the source of a fungal disease called moniliosis. Fungal spores remain on the soil surface until the next spring. In addition to spreading bacteria and fungus, the sweetish aroma of apples lures rodents.


Like other food leftovers, flour products are most attractive to rats, mice and moles. In addition to the transfer of diseases and damage to plantings, rodents exterminate worms, which accelerate the composting process. Also, as organic matter decays, bread products become moldy, causing the spread of fungal diseases.

Meat and fatty waste

Protein food and dairy products attract hordes of insects and rodents to the garden plot, the harm of which was mentioned earlier. In addition, over time, animal products begin to exude an unpleasant odor, which cannot be eliminated until the meat is completely rotted, which is a very long process. Summing up, we emphasize that compost is an effective way to increase soil fertility without the use of harmful chemicals. Armed with the rules for sorting organic ingredients, you get the perfect fertilizer out of nothing. I wish you a rich harvest!

In my many years of practice, I had to make sure that when using waste for compostingeven quite experienced amateur gardeners make a lot of significant mistakes and mistakes.

Some of them lay in composteverything that comes to hand, turning the latter into a dump or garbage dump, while others, on the contrary, try to play it safe in every possible way, refusing a huge variety of components that are quite acceptable for compost. Moreover, the first of them do not receive high-quality compost, capable of completely replacing stall manure, and the latter very unjustifiably reduce the volume of its preparation

I found that on plots with an area of ​​6 acres, during the summer season, an average of about 3.5-4.5 m³ of organic waste accumulates, from which at least 1.5 m³ of high-quality compost suitable for all gardening culture and is able to completely replace the same amount of manure.

According to my estimation, there are 6 groups of such wastes on the site, including over 50 varieties that differ significantly in their main agrotechnical characteristics.

Based on our experience and that of other amateur gardeners, here is a list of the main waste that you should know and use for composting:

  1. Garden waste: stumps, roots, rhizomes, twigs, branches, shoots, offspring, stems and leaves of all fruit crops and flower beds.
  2. Garden waste: weeds, tops, stems, roots and leaves of all vegetable, green and other vegetable crops.
  3. Herbal waste: hay, lawn grass, turf, as well as specific weed plants such as nettles, dandelions, runny, plantain, burdock, horsetail, etc.
  4. Wood waste: wood chips, shavings, sawdust and bark, including both generated on site and purchased externally.
  5. Cardboard and paper waste: cardboard containers, old black and white newspapers and magazines, writing, wrapping and toilet paper.
  6. Kitchen and household waste: leftovers of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and mushrooms, potato peelings, eggshells, sleeping tea and coffee, stale remains of bakery products, ash, soot and house waste.

It should only be noted that when adding these wastes to the compost it is necessary to take into account the ratio of carbon-containing (garden, wood and cardboard-paper) and nitrogen-containing (garden, herbal and kitchen-household) components, which, in terms of carbon and nitrogen, should be no more than 20 :one.

It is best to put carbon-containing waste first in the compost, and then layer by layer the rest, alternating them instead of manure with garden soil and the remains of saved plants used for green slurry.
In addition, in order to obtain timely compost, all of the above wastes having dimensions of more than 50-60 mm must be crushed, and some of them, which have a developed green mass, must be dried in the sun.
Certain types of liquid waste (green slurry, soapy water, urine, etc.), not mentioned above, can be effectively used after dilution with water (up to 1: 5) to irrigate the compostable mixture instead of slurry.

However, not all types of waste should be used for composting. Based on their personal experience, the experience of other amateur gardeners and the information contained in the periodicals, I would like to give the following tips that must be taken into account when laying down components for composting:

  • do not introduce diseased plants affected by fungal, bacterial and viral diseases into the compost, since certain types of pathogenic microflora can persist even at high temperatures inside the compost
  • exclude contamination of the compost mixture of seeded weeds and grasses, since the seeds during composting for the most part remain viable and, therefore, can get into the soil and germinate again
  • do not allow poisonous plants (foxglove, lily of the valley, tansy, bitter wormwood, etc.) into the compost, as their toxic substances actively decompose and spread in the total mass of the compost
  • avoid adding cat and dog faeces to the compostable mixture, as reportedly even 300 g per 1 m³
    such waste is detrimental to compost, and when it is introduced into the soil, it has a very depressing effect on most garden crops
  • do not use kraft paper impregnated with chemicals (phenol, barium, etc.) for composting, paper used for reproductions, posters, etc., as it repels water and takes a long time to decompose, newspapers and magazines with color printing
  • there should be no room in the compost for any foreign matter: metal, plastic, glass, film, etc.

When laying in a composting bin, special attention should be paid to diseased plants:

If, for example, in greenhouses and greenhouses from year to year, outbreaks of anthracnose, ascochitosis, white and gray rot, powdery mildew or olive spot were observed in cucumber, and in tomato - bacteriosis, late blight or brown spot, then all, without exception, residues follow after harvesting dry and burn to obtain ash. It is recommended to do the same with respect to other diseased plants, as well as seeded weeds, poisonous grasses and the above varieties of paper.

To improve the efficiency of using waste for composting, you should:

  • to use instead of heaps a two or three-section compost, which allows you to simultaneously have not only ready, ripening and forming compost, but also replace the difficult shoveling by transferring the mixture from section to section
  • place the compost not in the shade, as is recommended, but in the sun with a cover with a perforated film, due to which the compostable mixture heats up well, while the decomposition process is intensified
  • do not tamp the waste brought into the compost, as compaction impairs aeration, prevents moisture penetration and slows down the decomposition of the mixture.
    A. Veselov, amateur gardener,Material from the weekly newspaper "SADOVOD" Source

Video: What should not be put in compost

How to start composting?

The most efficient process of decomposition of organic matter occurs in compost bin and compost pit, since the humidity and temperature in them are practically constant. The larger and fuller the pit (composter), the faster the compost "matures". The optimal dimensions of the pit are 1.5 × 2 m, the depth is about 1 m. You can make the pit longer and divide it in half with a partition, behind which it will be convenient to store the finished compost.

Compost heap can be placed on the soil surface. Compostable materials are decomposed by bacteria, which in turn require air, nitrogen and water. Therefore, the compost heap should be well ventilated, damp (but not waterlogged) and not too large (base about 1 m, height 1-1.2 m).

First, dig a hole deep into the bayonet of your shovel. Lay drainage (raspberry, currant branches, thin tree branches) at the bottom so that the liquid formed during fermentation flows down. On top, start laying soil, plant and kitchen waste, compacting the contents and spilling each layer with water. If you have matured last year's compost, then it is better to make the first layer from it - it will become a source of bacteria for the new substrate. To give the collar the correct shape, enclose it with a wooden frame or a coarse mesh. This will protect the compost from birds.

Sprinkle the top layer of the compost heap or pit with earth, and cover the top with dark spunbond or a dense layer of straw. We do not recommend using film, as it does not allow air to pass through, and if there is a lack of it, the contents begin to rot.

What can you put in the compost to keep it “clean”?

In the compost heap, you can put one type or a mixture of household waste, which is processed by soil microorganisms into nutrients available to plants. The greater the variety of waste, the richer and better the compost will be.

A large amount of one type of waste forms depleted compost. In such biofertilization, the ratio of carbon and nitrogen (elements very important for plants) is disturbed, a large number of other elements necessary for the normal development of plants are absent.

With an excess of carbon (large branches, dense stems of peppers, eggplants, dry bark, etc.), the composting process slows down until the excess carbon evaporates in the form of carbon dioxide. In this case, the composting period is lengthened. With excess nitrogen (which is rich in leaves, herbs, vegetables, fruits, food residues, etc.), it evaporates from the compost and its losses can be up to 30%.

The more varied the ingredients, the richer the compost will be in nutrients.

For "clean" composting use:

  • wood waste - branches, wood chips, shavings, sawdust, plant roots, bark and pieces of wood, but not painted with oil and other paints, they are used in the compost pit as drainage and ripper (to drain excess water and increase air flow)
  • cut grass, cabbage leaves without signs of fungal and other diseases, healthy tops of carrots and beets, aerial parts of peppers and eggplants (healthy)
  • carrion of fruits and vegetables (healthy)
  • animal manure, which, on the one hand, is a ready-made fertilizer, and on the other hand, serves as a heating ingredient that accelerates the decomposition of other waste
  • kitchen waste, excluding food residues, which included meat and dairy products
  • edible mushrooms (over-grown, wormy), poultry egg shells
  • waste paper (napkins and paper towels, single-layer cardboard).
The more varied the ingredients, the richer the compost will be in nutrients. © CAT

Rule 3: stir the compost constantly

Compost needs oxygen as much as nitrogen or carbon. That is why it is much easier to achieve the desired result using not a pit, but a wooden compost box for harvesting this fertilizer. Air enters the substrate through the cracks between the boards and thus provides oxygen to the microorganisms living in it. In order for the consistency of the compost to be homogeneous, it must be mixed periodically, making sure that no lumps form in the fertilizer in the future.

Autumn care for the apricot tree

Apricot feeding in August is carried out along with other activities - whitewashing the trunk, pruning. In the fall, all branches are removed on which there were no fruits so that they do not take up nutrients.

They start with those that grow inward and thicken the crown, then dry or broken. All others are shortened. The branches that have yielded a crop for 2 - 3 years are removed, as their productivity decreases further.

Large sections should be covered with garden varnish or drying oil so that bacteria do not get into the wood. The pruning procedure is carried out in the warm season, when the temperature outside has not dropped below 8 degrees. It is desirable earlier, so that the wounds have time to heal.

If the summer cottage is located near a forest belt, then hungry hares can damage the bark. To do this, it is covered with a metal mesh to a height of more than a meter and tied.