Composting is a terrific way to reduce the amount of waste your family puts out. Plus it’s a GREAT organic fertilizer! The benefits to having your own compost pile are pretty endless, and I am making it my mission to spread the compost wealth! Composting is said to improve soil composition, and it even helps with water retention! Read on for tricks to help any level of gardener get started composting.
Choosing a container is the first step in beginning your composting journey. Any kind of bin can be used (think plastic, wooden, homemade) but there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to each type of container. Read this article from DIY Network that should help make your container decision a little easier!
After you container has been chosen, it’s time to pick the location of your pile. Pick an area of your yard that is easily accessible, and has great drainage. You may be tempted to put your pile on the concrete, but your compost bin/pile should be placed directly on top of the soil. Remove any grass and plants if need be!
Now it’s time for the fun! Start collecting any materials to add to your pile. Good things to add to a compost pile are: leaves, hay, straw, cardboard, eggshells, tea bags, vegetable/fruit peelings, grass, weed clippings, and coffee grounds. Know the difference between brown and green composting materials!
Never add meat, bones, poultry, fish, human and pet waste, whole eggs, or any dairy products to your pile. Adding fatty foods like poultry will slow down the compost process, and cause a horrific smell! Yuck!
If you want your compost to be great, you should layer it like a cake! Layer straw, green materials, and brown materials. Turn them every two weeks! See this article for more great compost-layering tips. Depending on the kinds of materials used in your pile, it can take anywhere from 14 days to a year to fully compost and break down. You’ll know when compost is ready because it has a soil like quality (see picture below). Use compost as a fertilizer in your houseplants, on your lawn, or in your veggie garden. Did you even know there’s such a thing as compost tea?