Composting has become a cornerstone of green living. Like solar panels and recycling, composting has gone mainstream and is no longer the domain of just environmental news, farmers and professional gardeners. It’s a simple way to recycle your kitchen refuse to enrich the plants and flowers in your yard. Every shovel full of compost is pounds of kitchen scraps that avoided the landfill.
Depending on the size of your family and where you live, however, composting may seem like a major undertaking, especially if you don’t have a large garden. Luckily there are many composting options available, and here are some easy tips to get you started.
Decide how elaborate or simple you want to make your compost
There are many factors that go into determining how you want to compost. First, how big is your family? In the course of a day, do you produce a lot of green or wet kitchen scraps? As a general rule, it’s best to compost vegetable matter, coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels and citrus rinds. A larger family that produces more kitchen scraps will need a bigger compost bin to handle all their kitchen waste.
Also, what kind of plants will use the compost? If you have a large garden, you’ll want to buy a larger compost bin. There are a myriad of tumblers, towers and even free plans to build your own bins. Keep in mind that compost may attract wildlife, so take that into consideration when you’re choosing a location and type of composter.
Even if you don’t own a garden, you can still compost. Single potted plants can benefit from compost too. For example, rose bushes adore banana peels and coffee grounds. Using a garden trowel, dig the peels and grounds around the roots of your rose bush and cover them with a couple inches of dirt. The potassium and calcium will naturally seep into the soil to feed the roses every time it rains and as the green matter decomposes.
Purchase your compost bin/system
If you garden regularly, then you’ll probably want a compost bin that allows you regular access to the finished compost as it processes. Simpler composters, like tumblers, allow you to compost in one batch. You’ll have to wait until all the compost is broken down before you can access any of it. There are even single compost bins so compact that they sit discreetly on your kitchen counter.
It’s a good idea to layer the wet or green ingredients with dry or brown ingredients to make good compost in the most efficient manner. Brown ingredients can be dried leaves or shredded newspaper. Don’t forget that you’ll have to periodically turn your compost so that it composts evenly. Eventually, when it’s broken down into a rich, coffee-looking mixture you can use it mixed with potting soil or tilled into your flower bed and garden.
Composting is a simple process that can be accomplished in any size household. With a little bit of internet research, you can find great composting tips that will help you refine your composting system to suit your lifestyle. After a little practice, you’ll soon be an expert composter and the environment and your plants will thank you.
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