The Benefits of Composting
Composting is a natural way of recycling food and yard waste. You do not have to have a large plot of land to do it. I have a small yard and live in the city.
Choose a Bin for Compost
A bin can be a trash can, plastic tote, a bucket or a metal container. It is even something you can make yourself. You want to make sure you drill holes in the sides and bottom if you are using a container. The holes allow for ventilation and air is necessary for this process. This is not something you need to spend a big chunk of change on. This can be started indoors or outdoors.
I was not a girl that paid a lot of attention in Science class so I had no idea how this worked. I had no interest in gardening, compost or protecting our planet when I was 18 years old. That is not something that I am bragging about. The process involves four ingredients to work effectively. Carbon, nitrogen, air, and water.
What to Compost
- Fruit scraps
- Vegetable scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Grass and plant clippings
- Dry leaves
- Wood chips
- Bark chips
- Sawdust from untreated wood
What should I not Compost?
- Diseased plants
- Wood chips from treated wood
- Dog or Cat feces
- Dairy products
Combining the Materials for Composting
This is the outdoor method. Combine fallen brown leaves, shredded tree branches, cardboard, newspaper, hay, straw, wood shavings for the carbon. The nitrogen products are kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, manure (not cat or dog), plant trimmings, grass trimmings. It is recommended to use three parts brown material to one part green. To this, you will water regularly so that it is damp. It is recommended to stir the pile up so that it cooks faster. The ideal temperature is 130 to 150 degrees.
When is the Compost Ready?
When the compost no longer gives off heat it is fully cooked and ready. It should look brown and dry.
How to Feed your Garden with Compost?
There are two suggested methods to feed your garden. You can add 4 to 6 inches of compost to your beds or pots at the beginning of the season or you can do a compost tea. The compost is steeping the compost in water for several days. After several days you will strain the liquid and use this on your garden and plants.
How can I Compost Indoors?
This method reduces your trash indoors and helps your plants grow faster. This method is great for people who do not have a yard. It can be a plastic, metal or wood container. You will need to drill holes in your bin of choice. Make sure you put a tray underneath for the liquid that will drain out. Add one layer of soil, newspaper and food scraps. Again do not use meat, fish, dairy as they will rot. Mix the scraps and add more newspapers. The layer of soil should prevent fruit flies. Mix the compost and add new soil once per week.