Yard waste and food scraps make up as much as 30 percent of everything we discard via our household trash says the US Environmental Protection Agency. That makes composting a worthy considerations both for your own personal outdoor space and for the environment.
Compost is a wholly organic material that can be added into the soil to help plants grow. As the materials that make up compost take up landfill space and also release methane, there has never been a better time to get into the composting habit.
Composting is a gardening activity that takes care of itself with a minimal amount of attention. It also brings some incredible returns in terms of healthy, vigorous plants and amazing fruit and vegetable harvests. It’s also rewarding to know that your kitchen scraps and yard waste are kept from being sent to landfill, and are beginning a second, eco-friendly “life”.
Composting leftover food scraps and yard waste is extremely beneficial in terms of the environment and for your yard. Composting is nature’s way of recycling and has many eco-friendly benefits:
There are three basic ingredients required to create compost – greens, browns, and water. Every compost pile needs to have an equal amount of greens to browns. In addition to this, there should be alternate layers of different-sized particles.
The green materials provide nitrogen, the browns provide carbon, and the water helps to break down the organic matter:
There are many different ways to create a compost pile. It is important to have certain tools available to help with the job – water hoses with spray heads, pitchforks, machetes or square-point shovels are all of use. Successful maintenance of your compost pile also depends on regular turning or mixing in addition to watering, that will help maintain the mixture.
Most composters begin by creating a compost pile in the backyard. This is the simplest method to enable the creation of an effective mix and is known as cold composting.
If you lack outdoor space, composting can be done indoors. You can purchase a special bin at a gardening supplies store, hardware store, or can make one yourself. A bin that is correctly managed will not attracts rodents or pests, and will not smell bad. This type of compost will be ready within two to five weeks.
Known as vermicomposters, worm composting bins are cheap and easy to maintain. These should be kept indoors to prevent the worms from freezing in the winter or getting too hot in the summer months.
Hot composting is for the serious gardener, and will enable compost to be made within one to three months during warm weather. Air, carbon, nitrogen, and water are needed to constantly feed microorganisms which speed up the decaying process.
It is a commonly held misconception that anything at all can be put into the compost pile. This is, of course, untrue. Substances that should never be placed into the compost include:
Items that can be safely composted include:
For a beginner, it can be difficult to know if you’re doing things right, especially since compost takes a long time to break down. For the seasoned composter, there are always a few extra tips and tricks that can be learned in order to streamline the composting process. For example:
The microbes that break down the pile need a balanced diet of carbon and nitrogen, so an equal weight ratio of both works best to create good, rich compost.
When you’re starting out, it can be easy to make a few mistakes, however through following this advice, your composting will get off to the best start possible.
With many gardeners likening compost to “black gold,” it is no wonder that so many people are creating their own compost at home. Given the correct conditions, microorganisms and bacteria can work on your behalf to break down organic waste material, and transform it into rich and fertile earth.
Adding composting into your eco-friendly activities will reduce methane build-up in the atmosphere as well as helping to increase the health and fertility of the earth.
Composting is easy to learn and cheap, however there is an art to it. Creating the best possible compost is something that comes with practice. With the right mixture of organic materials, soil aeration, moisture, and heat, you can create the perfect environment in which your garden and house plants can thrive.
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