Composting is great for your garden, the environment, and even your wallet (all that money saved on fertilizer!), so if you want to get started with your own compost, here are some composting basics tips for how to compost.
Composting Basics - How to Compost
This summer, try your hand at composting, especially if you have a garden. By adding your produce waste, egg shells, and lawn clippings to a compost pile, you'll be creating nutrient-rich soil that will make your vegetable garden prosper better than you could imagine. It's something that won't only help your garden grow, but it's great for the environment as well. When you think about it, why wouldn't you want to compost?
What is compost?
Composting is great if you're looking to have a garden bursting with delicious fruits and veggies. Compost is a way to turn your green-matter from the yard and your organic waste (which I'll give examples of later in the article), and combine them to create a nutrient rich soil that will do wonders for your garden! It's like it's the super-food of the soil world.
Why should you compost?
I've already touched a little on how it's great to use in your garden, but actually, it's great for the Earth itself. By including certain food waste and lawn clippings, you're keeping the trash you throw away to a minimum. That means you're not adding to the landfills, but you're replenishing the goodness that's right in your backyard. This is a kind of recycling everyone should get behind!
How to Compost
Pick a place for your composting.
Decide what your container is going to be first, whether it's a hole in your yard, a homemade compost bin you make out of a large plastic bin or if you're going to buy a container that's already marketed for composting. Then decide where it's going to go in your yard. You'll want it to be somewhere accessible and not in direct sunlight, but you don't want it in the center of the yard or where your kids frequently play or somewhere where there's a lot of general foot traffic.
What can go into the compost bin?
The items you'll be putting into your compost pile are items that supply carbon and nitrogen. This includes items such as: raw fruits and vegetables (as well as any peels, cores, stems, or other parts of fruits and vegetables that you wouldn't normally eat), egg shells, coffee grounds (coffee filter, as well), newspapers, lawn clippings, leaves (both dead and alive), flower clippings, and other plant material. So basically anything raw and organic. And not organic like as marked organic at the grocery store, but organic as in derived from living matter, any plant item that was once growing.
What cannot go into the compost bin?
Do not add items such as: processed foods (breads, pasta, potato chips), meat or dairy products (these will just stink), anything plastic or metal, no glass, no chemicals or man-made products. These items are meant for the trash or recycling, but never your compost pile.
How to take care of your compost bin
Whenever you have scraps you can add, toss them on the pile. If it's food from inside the house, you might want to collect it in a container for the day, and then add it to your compost bin the next morning or before bed at night. Get in the habit of adding to it regularly. If you notice that your compost pile is a bit dry, add a little water to it and mix it up a little. This helps the bacteria grow in there. Leave it be and let nature do the work! If your composting in a closed container versus one that's just an open area that's fenced in, try adding some worms. When you're composting right on the ground, the worms will probably find your pile all on their own and work their magic.
After 2 or 3 weeks, your soil on the bottom will be nutrient rich and ready to go into your garden! As long as you keep replacing what you remove from the compost bin, you'll have incredible garden fuel for ages!
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