When it comes to gardening, composting is a must! It’s a great way to use up all those food scraps and grass clippings. Here’s how to get started!
The great thing about composting is that it’s free! Throw all your leftovers, food scraps, grass clippings, and leaves in your compost bin – your garden will thank you! Homemade compost is the key to a successful garden. The black dirt is nutrient-rich and forms as all your scraps decompose. This is how to get started:
1. Make Space for Your Compost
You need to decide whether you want to use a closed container or open space near your garden. The up side to a closed bin is that everything is contained, but the down side is that regulating moisture can be a challenge. Also, it will hold less compost. Having an open pile of compost is easier to mix and monitor. Whatever you choose, make sure you keep it outside as it will omit a smell as it’s decomposing!
2. Mix the Compost
Start with a pile of dirt from your garden, and begin adding food scraps. Throw them in after dinner every day and maintain a balanced mixture of wet green material (grass clippings and vegetable peels), and dry brown material (leaves and shredded paper). Every 1 or 2 weeks mix the pile to evenly distribute the good bacteria inside. Keep the pile moist, but not soaking wet. In a few weeks or months you’ll have your nutrient-rich soil.
What can I put in my compost?
Cardboard, shredded paper, straw, hay, leaves, vegetable and fruit scraps, grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grounds, and dryer lint can all go in your compost pile.
Do not add these items to your compost!
Fatty food scraps and meat will only attract unwanted wild animals to your compost pile. Avoid plastic, treated wood, and grass clippings that have been treated with herbicide. Don’t add any weeds to your pile either, as they can start to grow in your garden.
Photos: Bonnie Plants, Martha Stewart, Greener Ideal.