Thursday, September 6, 2012

Starting Composting

If you are planning on having a garden next year, now is a great time to look into composting. Compost is a great material that will help your garden to grow.

Composting is also a great way to cut down on how much you are sending to the landfills. When you compost you will be reusing many degradable products that are ordinarily thrown out.

So how do you start your compost?

To make things easier you can invest in a composter to hold your compost or you can create your own compost pile.

First you will want to select a spot that is near a water source, this spot needs to be dry and shady.
Then  you will add your brown and green materials (list for appropriate materials below). Be sure that the larger pieces are shredded or chopped, you will add the materials continually as you collect them.
Moisten your dry materials when they are added.
Once you have established your compost pile, you will want to mix in grass clippings and other green waste, bury vegetable and fruit waste under 10 inches of your compost material.
If you are using a compost pile, cover with a tarp to keep it moist.
When the material at the bottom is dark and rich in color your compost is ready to use. This can take anywhere from two months to as much as two years.

Green Compost Material:
Bone meal
Coffee grounds
Egg shells
Fruit and fruit peels
Grass clippings (fresh)
Juicer Pulp
Plant Trimmings (that have not been treated with pesticides)
Tea leaves
Vegetables & peelings

Brown Compost Material:
Buckwheat hulls
Coffee filters
Coffee Grounds
Corn Cobs
Cotton/wool/silk scraps
Grass clippings (dried)
Leaves (dead)
Peanut Shells
Peat Moss
Pine needles
Shredded paper egg cartons
Shredded newspaper
Tea bags

Do NOT Compost:
Pet Feces
Meat and Bones
Diseased Plants
Seeding Weeds
Wet Grass
Inorganic Materials 

As you add materials to your compost, you will want to turn your pile periodically. Every 3 to 5 days tends to be a good amount of time. If you have a spinning composting bin, the turning will be easier, if you have a compost pile then you will want to use a pitch fork or shovel.

Previous Compost Posts:
Revisiting Composting

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