These days it is becoming more obvious that we need to recycle as much as possible in order to reduce the amount of waste in landfills. Especially, biodegradable waste materials such as those found in your garden and kitchen. many first-time gardeners tend to disregard the idea of compositing because the subject seems rather difficult to grasp. On the contrary, it is can be very straightforward if you follow just a few basic guidelines.
First, you need a choose the type and size of the compost bin you want to use. Depending on the placement of the bin and the size of your garden and there are a couple of options.
All-purpose plastic bins such as those at your local garnering center are affordable and excellent for smaller waste. Install a small hatch at the base of the container. Fill the bin up from the top and a few months later you can remove the compost from the hatch. One major benefit of having a smaller bin is easy accessibility.
Let’s face it, you will not always feel like taking a trip to the compost heap, especially in extreme weather conditions. Having a lidded container nearby the house is more practical for kitchen scraps.
Slatted compost bin
A ready-made slatted enclosure is a good alternative, however, if you are handy with a saw and hammer you can make your own. Be sure to cover the enclosure with a piece of old tarp or carpet in order to shield the content from unfavorable weather conditions.
A general list of what you can compost:
Kitchen waste materials
- all uncooked vegetable and fruit peelings
- egg shells
- teabags, tea leaves and coffee grounds
Yard and garden waste materials
- dead flowers from the house
- debris from bedding plants, dead leaves, lawn mowing
- debris from hanging baskets or containers
- Dryer materials like shredded paper
- General materials from the garden such as soft pruning
- rabbit and guinea pig bedding
A general list of what you should not compost:
- Any type of weeds that taint your compost with their seeds
- dog or cat waste
- all meat products such as and bones; bread, cooked food that can attract pest
- woody material which takes too long to breakdown
- All non-biodegradable materials
Composting bigger amounts of materials like leaves
You can convert fallen leaves into a type of compost known as leaf mold. First, rake up all the leaves from your yard and put them in a dark waste sack. Next, make a few holes in the sack and sprinkle some water over the leaves. Lastly, tie the top of the bag and leave it in a corner for about a year.
Maintaining your compost pile
When combining different types of materials, you should avoid having an excess of each one. Certain materials like grass clippings will turn soggy and slimy when stacked in larger quantities. In contrast, paper and other materials from pruning will be too dry. Your compost pile should be turned in every two weeks as a general rule of thumb in order to aerate the pile. For wooden enclosures use a fork to turn the pile so that the materials below are mixed in with the upper layer.
Depending on the conditions of your compost pile the whole process can take three months to a year. Even so, the final product is well worth the wait and effort. By the end of the process, all the ingredients will have decomposed resulting in a lovely darkish brown material. It’s an overall excellent soil conditioner that you can use as mulch or for mixing into beds.