In continuation of yesterday’s blog post, as families become more environmentally conscious, many are choosing to produce some of their food supply in backyard gardens and composting is an important part of this process. Nutrient rich compost turns food scraps, leaves, lawn clippings, paper and many other household waste products into humus that boosts soil fertility and adds many beneficial organisms.is easy and managing it takes only a few minutes per week, yet it will provide you with a constant supply of soil nutrition for all types of gardening.
breaks down how mix yard and household organic matter to create a bin, as well as the conditions that encourage decomposition.
Starting a Compost Pile
Compost piles are created using four essential components:
- Brown matter (carbon) – such as fallen leaves, straw or shredded paper
- Green matter (nitrogen) – such as table scraps, fruit and vegetable rinds or peels, grass clippings or clover
- Water (hydrogen) – in the form of rain or water from the hose to help the materials decompose
- Time – necessary for each additive to break down and blend with the other ingredients
While you can purchase composting barrels and containers, the best location for composting is a spot of bare ground in an unused corner of your yard or garden. Worms and organisms in the soil below the compost pile will happily work among the ingredients you add, helping to aerate the compost and make it break down faster.
Starting the Pile
Begin the compost pile with a layer of dry carbon matter, such as dead leaves, twigs or straw, to ensure good drainage and aeration of the pile. Then, continue to add alternating layers of manure, food scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings, wood ashes, sawdust, weeds or twigs. Water the pile thoroughly and cover it with recycled plastic sheeting to hold the moisture in and create a heating effect.
Uncover the pile and turn it every few weeks and water as needed before recovering. Once the composting process has turned the layers into rich, dark humus, you can begin to introduce new materials to the pile, such as daily food scraps, lawn clippings, newspapers and other waste items.
To, do not add meats, bones or fish scraps to your compost pile. Likewise, never add diseased plants or invasive weeds to the pile, so that you do not risk spreading the disease or encouraging more of the invasive plants to grow. Also, refrain from adding oils, black walnut hulls, pet waste, used kitty litter, dairy products and any ingredients that might contain pesticides to avoid contamination of the compost.