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The How-To Guide To Composting

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Thu, Apr 26, 2018

banana-peel-guide-to-composting

Maybe you've thought about starting a compost pile, but you weren't sure if you could do it. Well, it's easier than you think. Today, I'm giving you the steps of creating a compost pile and just a few of the benefits of taking on this project for your family.

Great Reasons to Compost

When you compost, you are keeping fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, and more out of the landfill. You are disposing of these items in a natural way that will put nutrients back into the soil. Another reason to compost is you can use it as a natural fertilizer for your garden. This means you can skip using chemical fertilizer that can run off and end up in nearby streams and other waterways. Composting helps soil to retain moisture, which means you don't have to water your garden as often during the spring and summer. I like the idea of teaching kids how to compost so they can continue the tradition with their families someday!

The Steps of Composting

The first step in the process is to find a compost bin. Some bins are made of plastic, while others are made of wood. There are bins available for purchase, or you may want to build your own compost bin. Think about the amount of material you plan to compost before selecting a bin.

Next, choose a location for your compost pile that is out of the sun and allows plenty of air circulation around. If you're creating an actual pile instead of using a bin, avoid putting it close to trees because their roots can steal nutrients away from your compost.

The third step is to start creating your layers. Use twigs as the first layer of your pile so you have drainage and air circulation. Next, cover the layer of twigs with leaves. Follow that with a layer of green, then a layer of brown, and add a little moisture without making it soggy. Green layers should be full of nitrogen-rich items such as coffee grounds, fruit peels, eggshells, vegetables, and flowers. Brown layers should include carbon-rich items such as coffee filters, shredded newspaper, small pieces of cardboard, dryer lint, napkins, paper towels, and dried grass clippings. Alternate green and brown layers to create a balanced compost pile.

Items That Do Not Go in Your Compost Pile

Scraps of fish and meat shouldn't go into your compost pile because the odor will attract mice, raccoons, cats, and neighborhood dogs who will dig through your compost pile and spread it around your property. Also, don't put animal waste, large branches, dairy products, coated paper, or sawdust in your compost pile.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Don't dump large amounts of citrus fruit peels onto your compost pile. The acid in these fruits can kill worms and other creatures that are helping to break down the elements in your compost pile.
  • After adding items to your compost pile, mix them with the lower layers.
  • Compost that is ready to be used in your garden will have a dark appearance and smell like earth. It will also have a crumbly texture.

I hope you decide to start a compost pile so you can help both your garden and the environment! Thanks for reading. - Alan

Topics: guide to composting

 

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