Every person with some basic knowledge of gardening knows that compost is one of the best ways to get healthy and flavorful plants. It is providing the soil with necessary nutrients, thus helping the plants grow and contributing to reduce of the amount of waste. Additionally, organic compost is saving you money for chemical fertilizers.
Considering all those benefits, you probably wouldn’t want some uninvited guests rummaging in it. The organic matters your compost is made of are often a target of birds and rodents. If you don’t deal with this problem properly, it’s quite possible that they’ll end up destroying it. Let’s see what are the best ways to avoid such inconveniences?
Including Food in Compost – Yes or No?
There are different views concerning this issue, because food in compost is both useful and harmful. Nutrient rich food can contribute to soil fertility, but its smell can also attract many intruders. If you decide to use it, avoid spicy foods with strong smell, such as fish, meat and cheese. One other way of protecting the compost is putting food in the centre of the pile and covering it with the rest of the ingredients, which will help mask the smell.
Maintaining the Moisture
Dry places are the perfect spots for animals who seek shelter. So, if you don’t want rodent settlement in your surroundings, keep the material in your compost bin moist all the time. The most efficient way of doing it is to turn the pile regularly. By doing this, you’ll not only maintain the moisture of your compost, but speed up the decomposition process too.
Setting Physical Obstacles
The best protection is always tangible. Secure your compost with wire mesh and you can sleep firmly knowing there is no uninvited animals in there. It would also be helpful to put the compost bin on a concrete or other hard surface to prevent animals to reach it from an underground passage. Compost material sometimes ends up completely destroyed because some animals can actually open the door and enter. Raccoons are one of the most common culprits for that, we learn from a Sydney-based CBD locksmith. Putting a lock on your compost is a logical result of this.
Location is Everything
Don’t make it easy on pests to reach your precious compost. Place it in an area that you suppose will be the hardest to stumble upon. For instance, never put it near a tree where birds are nesting and keep it at distance from any other animal food sources. The centre of the backyard would be a good idea because it is far from the fence from where animals are usually entering. For winter months, make sure that you’ll place it somewhere where the temperature and rain won’t affect its decomposition.
Minions to the Rescue
We are, of course, referring to your four-legged friends which can be your little helpers when it comes to protecting your compost bin. Cats are great in preventing small rodents from intruding the territory, while dogs are helpful in chasing away the bigger animals. If you have both dog and cat, let them play around the backyard. You may think of it as even greater problem, but trust us, they’ll do less damage than the uninvited guests threatening to destroy your compost.
Remember that, if mismanaged, your compost pile can become a playground for unwanted furry and feathery critters. Dealing with them, properly, and implementing some simple hacks, will help you avoid such situations.