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Tips On Composting

Updated on July 10, 2010

compost

compost

All my life I have been fond of growing things. When I was a kid I started out with flowers,winning a few contest in school. As I got older I moved on growing things I could eat,corn,beets,you name it. To make things really grow good compost is the key. In this blog I will try to give you a helpful hand on the subject.

Decide whether you want to use a bin or have an open pile. An open pile is best at the back of the yard,away from the house.Your compost pile will give off less of a smell if you bury your kitchen scraps deep into the pile.You can build your own bin with wood and chicken wire,old skids,or buy one from a store.

You can put your kitchen scraps in some type of container of your choice--you can leave it in the kitchen until its time to take it to the bin or you can take your scrap to the bin every day.

Compost needs to be turned often, a pitchfork will work fine.Composting is a biological process. Tiny microorganism break down food and yard waste into rich,brown,crumbly humus. They need four things to make it happen:carbon,nitrogen,water,and oxygen. Carbon comes from "brown" materials like leaves,wood,and straw,and nitrogen comes from "green" material like grass and kitchen scraps. Ideally,your pile needs two or three times more brown than green materials in order to give those microorganisms the right diet. Another way to ensure you have plenty of microbes: Add a layer of soil or finished compost to your pile.

When you add scraps,sprinkle in a little water,especially on hot summer days. Don't add too much water,though,because waterlogged soil becomes anaerobic(not enough oxygen).

When is the compost ready? Well it all depends,cold composting is the least time-concuming method,but it takes the longest.Cold composted piles takes about a year to completely compost,but the general rule of thumb is six months to a year. Hot composting requires more management. You'll have a finished product sooner--a few weeks to a month if you turn the pile frequently.

What is save to compost:

Coffee grounds and teabags

Fruit and vegetable scraps

Eggshells(crush)

Nut shells

Cardboard rolls in small amounts

Leaves and yard trimmings

Don't compost:

Dairy products,fats and oil or meat

Pet waste

Disease-or insect ridden plants

Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides.

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