Would you like to start composting but you're feeling a little skeptical about the process? This article by Dave Berning of Barnyard Products will put you at ease about starting your own compost pile.
We all probably know someone who is fanatical about their lawn and garden and who own or have made their own compost bin. So why all the fuss, you may ask? In an age where the buzzwords of green and organic are everywhere, composting fits right in. There is nothing more organic than composting and it has been around forever. If you think about it, as long as there have been dying plants, there has been composting.
So what is compost? According to the dictionary, compost is a mixture of various decaying organic substances, as dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil. There are several ways that compost can be made. But it is usually done by gathering leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable remnants and putting them into a pile and letting them decompose or rot during a natural heating process.
This is where a good composting bin comes in. Some people choose to build their own while others prefer to buy them. Fortunately, there are many different composters available and they work quit well in the composting process. There are several different varieties, which include Tumblers; Enclosed, Rollers and Worm composters…just to name a few.
As with any other process there are dos and don’ts. A compost pile is not a trash heap. You only want to add items that will decompose naturally. Grass clippings, fruits, vegetables, leaves and even shredded newspaper and coffee grounds are a good source for your compost bins. Avoid dairy products, meat, fish and pet droppings.
When making compost for your home and garden, it is helpful to use a compost starter.
A compost starter can be made on your own or found in any garden center or garden center website. Its main point of use is to speed up the beginning of the decomposition process. You want to provide a climate that is rich in protein and nitrogen.
You will also want to keep your compost bin or pile in the sun because the heat will speed up the decomposition process. It is also a good idea to collect your organic waste for your pile over a couple days rather that take out small helpings. This will again help with the heating up of your pile. And most importantly, be sure to turn your pile on a regular basis with a pitchfork.
Compost is ready to use when it is a dark rich color and spreads easily. You do not want to be able to pick out any of the original ingredients. The amount of time it will take may vary.
Once your compost is finished it can be used in a variety of ways. It can be added directly to soil, used as a mulch to maintain moisture and keep down weeds and used in flower pots.
As you can see the benefits of composting is plentiful. Even if you do not have a green thumb, composting is an easy project to take on. And it doesn’t get more natural and organic than that!
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