Composting

Sep. 5, 2011 No Comments Posted under: Gardening Tips

Well, here we are into the first days of Autumn…the days are getting shorter…yes, and the pots of annuals are mostly foliage and very little of that. smile. So, one of my favorite subjects is composting. One great benefit is that by composting yard waste like grass clippings, leaves and organic debris, is that it reduces the amount of material entering landfills. And composting SAVES MONEY! Interested yet? It reduces the need for store bought fertilizer. It is free. Adding compost to the soil means you don’t have to water as often, thus saving on the water bill…and on the earth’s water supply needs.

Slow and longer method…just dig a hole and bury kitchen scraps and cover it up; use a mulching lawnmower; or, add leaves to a bin, food scraps and grass clippings, cover with more leaves, add water and mix it up.

Personally, I like the quicker, more active method…start with an enclosed wire or bin and put about 3 bags of brown leaves in it. Soak the leaves overnight and then alternate a couple of inches each of brown and green material until you have a level that you can easily turn over with a 4 tine farm-fork (pitch-fork). The definitation of brown material is dry brown leaves, shredded newspaper, sawdust or wood chips. The green material consists of grass clippings, kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, cow, horse or poultry manure.

Let this sit undisturbed for 3 days so the temperature of the material on the inside will rise to about 150 degrees. That way the pathogens and weed seeds will be destroyed. Now turn the pile completely over and add water to any dry areas. Turn it every 6-7 days so that air is able to enter into the pile. If it become too dry add more water and mix it in. After about 5-6 turnings, let the pile sit undisturbed for 2 weeks more to cure. You will then have a complete batch of compost ready to use in just about 6 weeks. (The amount of compost will be about 1/3 of the original pile).

Start composting today! You’ll be glad you did!

This entry was posted on Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 6:59 pm and is filed under Gardening Tips. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Leave a Reply