Composting is the slow and continuous decomposition and decaying of organic and natural materials and waste. The materials can include everything from grass clippings and leaves to food waste. Composting offers countless benefits to our environment, and we can certainly reap the benefits of using compost to enrich our gardens with the black gold it creates.
Using compost in your garden makes soil richer and healthier, encouraging stronger and faster growth. In addition to producing superior plants, you will be contributing to a healthier environment and saving money by eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers.
There are a few simple steps that will get you well on your way to developing a healthy and successful composting operation!
- Determine first where your composting area will be. This can be as simple as designating a particular area in your yard for your compost pile. Another option is to invest in compost bins. The actual preparation is really that simple!
- The next step is to decide what materials you want to include in your compost pile. Everything from food waste to leaves and small sticks and twigs will work. You should never compost pet waste or meat. A good rule of thumb to remember is that the higher quality of scraps you put into your compost pile, the higher in quality will be your compost. Think of all the vegetable trimmings that we are so used to just throwing in the trash and sending to the landfill. What a great way to recycle those scraps!
- Once you have started building your compost pile, turn the compost pile once a week. This can be done with a shovel or a spade. It is important to be sure you mix the entire pile, to minimize odor. Make certain that you get to the very bottom of the pile as much as the top and middle.
- The final step in composting is to make sure that your compost pile remains moist but not soaked. You may need to lightly sprinkle the compost as you mix and turn the pile. This will ensure you have the proper moisture balance and that your materials continue to breakdown.
Very little preparation is necessary for you to become a master at composting and enjoying all the benefits composting has to offer.