Most of the experienced gardeners know that enriching the soil with compost is a smart thing to do. Apart from the obvious benefits, such as providing the soil with nutrients necessary to support microbes which in turn help plants grow, composting is also an environmentally responsible action, given the fact that it greatly reduces the amount of organic garbage you need to dispose of and eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers.
However, since composting requires dealing with organic matter which small animals like birds and rodents can still use as food or even as a place to live, the process of composting can be made difficult by constant intrusions of those animals, which can destroy the compost if not dealt with in some way. In this article, we will offer a few tips on how best to protect your compost.
Food in Compost
Food can be a useful ingredient for your compost as it is extremely nutrient-rich but its smell is likely to attract unwanted visitors. Avoid spicy food, cheese, fish and meat – they are usually among the things not recommended for composting. If you already had problems with animals disturbing your compost before, think about not including food waste at all, or try to place it in the center of the pile, covering it with other things which will mask its smell.
Maintain Moisture of Your Compost
Animals like to pick dry places to serve them as shelters, so if you do not want a tenant in your compost bin make sure that you keep the material inside moist at all times. This is best achieved by turning the pile regularly. This will not only prevent compost material from drying, it is also likely to speed up the decomposition process.
Protect Your Compost with Physical Obstacles
Securing your compost bin with 1/4” to 1/2” wire mesh will make sure not even the small animals can reach compost. Placing the bin on a concrete or some other hard surface is also a smart idea because it will prevent animals who can dig to reach compost using an underground passage. The only drawback of this approach is that the compost pile might not drain properly.
You would be surprised how often compost piles are destroyed because a raccoon opens the door of the bin and helps itself with whatever is inside. It might sound silly, but putting a lock on your compost bin is probably a sensible thing to do, claim my local 24h locksmiths.
Mind the Location
Picking the right spot in your backyard can also prevent animals from accidentally stumbling upon your compost. Pay attention not to place the bin close to trees with bird nests and keep it away from other animal food sources. And if you are trying to compost during the winter months, you need to consider a place which will not be affected by elements too much.
Employ Your Four-Legged Pals
Pets can be a good deterrent for small animals. Small rodents will likely avoid territories controlled by a cat, while a dog can help with chasing away bigger animals, like the aforementioned raccoons.
“Photo Credit Pixabay“