So, you may be asking, what exactly is composting and why is it important? When I was a little girl I remember my grandma giving me maybe some coffee grounds, or egg shells and telling me to go and throw it in the pile out back. (Thank goodness she lived on a farm. I don't think that would fly in the city!)
I always wondered why. I thought maybe it was for the animals and birds to eat, or just an easy way to get rid of it. What I didn't realize was that it was one of the reasons my grandma had such a beautiful and healthy, abundant garden.
Another thing that I didn't realize was that not only was waste being added to the pile, but the pile needed to be stirred (or aeriated) and other ingredients added to make it steam. I'm not sure if I ever saw steam coming off the pile, but if I did I'm sure my grandma's explanation would have been that it had to "cook".
On this page we'll show you how any gardener can quickly learn to make this natural and organic nutrient out of waste to prepare the earth for their own abundant garden............even if you don't live on a farm!
<h3 >Where Are You Composting?The first thing you will need is a place to dump your scraps. Back in the day it was just dumped into a pile on the ground and I'm sure on some farms they still do it that way.
In this day and age it's not always practical to just dump it, and it probably doesn't make the best compost. It's really better for it to be enclosed.
There are many great options to choose from. You could build your own composting bin, or you could buy one of the many types that are on the market today. They come in all shapes and sizes to fit your space and time.
The first type I'll talk about is the plastic type that are compact and enclosed. This type is great if you live in area where you want to keep out the critters and hold in the smell. (Even though you are not supposed to smell much if you're doing it right, it's sometimes inevitable.)
There are several shapes and sizes to choose from. Some of them roll or rotate, so you don't have to stir and some of them are stationary. We found this great Envirocycle Backyard Composter. It produces quality compost quickly and easily by rolling and mixing which keeps the ingredients well mixed and aerated. It also makes a fertilizer tea, a rich organic liquid plant food appreciated by gardeners everywhere.
If you prefer something that doesn't roll and is a little easier on the budget, I recommend this Garden Bin. It's also compact and enclosed, and it assembles very easily.
Do you live in an apartment or condo and really don't have a lot of space? No worries, check out the Bokashi Kitchen Composter. You can put it right in your kitchen, and use the "garden gold" on your house and patio plants.
Check them out and see which one works best for you!
<h3 >How to Build Your Own Compost BinMaybe you can稚 afford to buy a bin right now, or you壇 really like to recycle something and make your own. There are a couple of simple things that you can do.
If you want to stick with the enclosed barrel type of bin to keep critters out, you can still do that without breaking the bank:
1. Try to get your hands on an old barrel or drum, preferably 55 gallons with a secure lid. (Make sure it wasn稚 used to store anything toxic)
2. Drill 6 to 9 rows of ｽ inch holes around the circumference of the barrel for air circulation and drainage.
3. Place the barrel upright on some blocks for bottom air circulation.
4. Every few days turn the barrel over on its side and roll it around the yard to mix the compost. If you want you can remove the lid after turning to allow for air penetration.
If you live somewhere that isn稚 restrictive, here痴 a simple and inexpensive way to make an open air bin:
1. Get a piece of heavy mesh wire about 8 feet long or more if you want it bigger.
2. Drive stakes in the ground at four corners and wrap the mesh around the stakes.
3. Secure wire to stakes with short pieces of wire and attach opening with small pieces of wire.
<h3 >What Goes In? Now that you have your bin all set up and ready to go, you need to know what to put in it and also as importantly what notto put in it.
You should have an equal mixture of dry (brown) ingredients and wet (green) ingredients. Here is a list of dry ingredients you can put in your compost bin:
*Shredded Paper & Cartons
Here is a list of wet ingredients you can put in your bin:
*Fruit and Vegetable Peelings
*Coffe Grounds and Filters
Here is a list of things you should not put in your bin:
Now that you know what to put in here's a few tips on how to make great "Garden Gold":
1. Make sure you always maintain a 50/50 balance of wet and dry ingredients.
2. When you put in new ingredients, make sure you stir or rotate the your barrel depending on your type of bin.
3. Keep the ingredients moist but not wet by adding a little water.
4. Rotate or Stir ingredients 3 times a week.
5. Add dry ingredients if compost begins to smell.
6. Once compost breaks down you have a rich fertilizer you can use on your garden and plants!