Composting for Beginners

08/26/2016

By: Kayla Brown

 

Composting isn’t just for farmers anymore; it’s becoming an asset for all gardeners. Composting upgrades soil for gardens and prevents plant diseases. Not only is it great for your garden, it can even reduce damaging greenhouse gases. If you have been thinking about composting and don’t know where to start, this article is just for you! Composting isn’t just for farmers anymore; it’s becoming an asset for all gardeners. Composting upgrades soil for gardens and prevents plant diseases. Not only is it great for your garden, it can even reduce damaging greenhouse gases. If you have been thinking about composting and don’t know where to start, this article is just for you! 

 

Browns

Materials like dead leaves and flowers, twigs and branches, newspapers and cardboard. Provide carbon.

 

Greens

Materials like veggie and fruit scraps, coffee grounds and grass clippings. Provide nitrogen.

 

Water

A balance between the right amount of browns, greens, and water is necessary for efficient compost. Provide moisture to break down the browns and greens.

 

Backyard or Indoor

If you have room in a back yard or garden, compost would be best served there. However, outdoor compost system requires more upkeep in order to continuously fight off pests and rodents. 

 

  1. The Container

Due to the fact that you’re decomposing organic material, remember that you don’t need anything fancy. Place a wooden container that is no smaller than 3 by 3 feet and place it in a shady area (sunny area when it’s the winter).

 

  1. The Pile

Begin to add waste in a brown to green ratio of 3:1.  A good tip is to dig a hole in the pile when you’re adding new materials, so that the new materials get coated with the current mixture. Obviously it may get smelly, but if you’re noticing a strong stench head to your local tree service or landscaper to see if you can get extra brush or wood chips. Making sure you have enough browns in your pile is the key to keeping foul smells to a minimum. Be sure to also inspect moisture levels by occasionally grabbing a handful. It should feel almost like a damp sponge. Too wet? Add browns. Too dry? Add water!

 

Is My Compost Ready?

Your compost could be ready in a few months or it may take up to a year. To test if your compost is ready, take a small amount of the compost and place in a Ziploc bag and sniff it before sealing. Place the bag in a drawer for a couple of days. When you open the bag and sniff again, your compost should smell exactly as it did before. If the mixture smells worse, then give your compost more time in the pile. 

 

 

We hope that you are ready to begin your journey of home composting! Be sure to like us on Facebook and let us know your composting techniques! 

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