How To Compost
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How To Compost
You will be amazed at how easy it is to compost your kitchen and yard waste and at the great material (compost/dirt) you can make. In a nutshell, you need green waste (kitchen & grass), brown waste (leaves), dirt and water. Mix the ingredients. Keep moist and turn the mixture a couple times per week. That's it!
Buying a Composter
While you don't need a compost bin in order to compost, it helps by keeping your materials together. If you like, you can simply place everything into a pile. You can also build a small box - 3 sides is all you need, to keep everything together. This container can be made from spare wood or chicken wire. Your container keeps the material from blowing around your yard.
If you decide to purchase a container, keep in mind the need to TURN the compost on a regular basis. There are several models of composters available to pick from. However, you may find it hard to turn your compost in a tall, slim composter. I find that a large box-style composter, where the top comes completely off, works well.
Locate your composter in a sunny spot, with access to water - you need to keep it moist and preferably away from people - a composter may have a slight smell when new materials start to compost.
What to Compost
Compost your organic kitchen waste, but not meat, oils or fat. Vegetable waste, coffee grounds, and egg shells will all compost. Meat, fat and oils tend not to compost and will attract wild animals to your compost.
You can also compost grass, though it is usually better to mulch grass and leave it on the lawn. And adding brown materials such as leaves and plants from the garden is also good. Of course if you are adding a lot of grass and leaves, you may need a FEW composters. I have two composters in my backyard in order to keep up.
How To Compost
You want to layer the materials in your composter - add kitchen waste, then grass, then a shovel of dirt, then more kitchen waste, then leaves or plants, then another shovel of dirt, etc. The exact order does not mater.
Composting is "natural". Materials such as grass and leaves will compost without humans lifting a finger. The enzymes required to start the process can be found in your dirt. That is way we add a shovel of dirt every once and a while - to keep the compost working.
Turn your compost pile a couple of times a week and add water if it looks dry (a lot of dry leaves were added).
In 4 - 6 weeks you will have compost that you can remove and dig into your garden. If you want to add the compost to your lawn, you may want to screen it first and put the larger pieces back into the composter to break down further.
Benefits of Compost
Compost is often referred to as BLACK GOLD. Using compost improves soil structure, texture, aeration and increases the soil's water-holding capacity. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. Adding compost improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants and is a natural source of nitrogen.
More tips of a healthy lawn and garden:
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