Greener Future Fridays: Composting 101

GlobeguyCompostingThere are a number of ways to compost at home.  There is worm composting, composte bins and what I all bare bones composting which I will explain today.

Why Compost

Really we should ask:  Why purchase chemical laden fertilizer when you can make your own 100% natural version?  Composting is great to supplement your garden naturally while reducing landfill waste.  About 20%-30% of householdcompost dirt waste can be compost.  Compost returns organic matter to the soil.  This will provide helpful microorganisms to aerate the soil, provide essential nutrients, loosen clay soils, help sandy soils hold moisture, and enhance root penetration.  You will have healthier plants and therefore cleaner air!

 What can be composted

  • Kitchen Scraps – fruit and veggie scraps, egg shells, corn cobs, coffee grind
  • Yard Trimmings – leaves, grass clippings, twigs, shrub trimmings, hay, straw
  • Use Sparingly – sawdust and ashes – they are very high in carbon
  • Avoid – meet, bones, dairy, cooking oil, and diseased or pesticide coated plants. compost items

 How to get started:

  • Start your compost on the bare earth to help the materials decompose.  I recommend doing this in the back of your yard.  You can put a fence or covering around the area to keep animals out if you like. 
  • An area of 3-5 cubic feet is best – smaller will not stay warm enough in the winter and larger will not allow enough air in.
  • First lay down twigs and/or straw, which will help water drain and air filter through the pile. 
  • Next layer your food scraps, and continues alternating twigs/leaves/ashes (brown materials) with fruit, veggie, and other food scraps (green materials).  This will help maintain the critical carbon/nitrogen ratio.  Compost should consist of mostly carbon, about 2/3 carbon, 1/3 nitrogen.  If  you have too much nitrogen your compost may begin to take on a not so pleasant odor.  
  • Finally turn and mix up your compost regularly and make sure it gets water if it has not rained lately.  Your compost will be ready for the garden in 3-4 months.
  • How%20Compost%20Happens

For more details on composting try visiting Earth Easy

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    what a great post! I’ve found composting so daunting, but now that we have a mini-garden, and with the fairly simple way you broke it down, i definitely think we can do this!

  2. 2

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  3. 3

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