Do you compost? Rather, do you want to compost, but think it is too difficult? If so, then I am going to explain how easy and fun composting can be. Composting is one of the best economical things you can do for the yard. It is great for the environment and the result is nutrient-rich soil that surpasses any fertilizer you can buy.
Composting takes very little time and is a garden’s best friend. In fact, the worms that composts attract do all the work for you. Compost is actually created from worm decomposition and castings. If you do not have worms, do not worry, they always find your scraps, but if you want to speed up the process, worms can always be purchased at any bait and supply store.
Items needed to create a compost:
• sealed bucket or container
• spading fork
• partially shaded spot in the yard
To create a successful compost you need to know what can and cannot be used. Contents you can use include: raw fruits, vegetables, and their peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds and filter, newspapers, paper towels, leaves (brown for carbon and green for nitrogen rich), grass clippings, plant and flower clippings, and yard waste.
Items that cannot be composted include: meats, dairy products, processed foods, plastic, man-made substances, and metals. For convenience, keep a bucket or sealed container of choice underneath the kitchen sink for easy disposal. After cutting veggies or fruit, toss the scraps into the bucket. If you want to spend the money, some stores carry composting crocks and other containers that look a little fancier than just a plain bucket, but in my opinion, that is just an added expense.
Coffee grounds can go in filter and all, and do not forget those egg shells. When the bucket is full, dump the contents outside in the compost pile. The compost pile can be as simple as a hole dug into the ground. If you have outdoor pets, be sure to put a simple wire fence around the pile so the animals do not have a second dinner!
A shady spot is ideal because you do not want the compost pile to dry out, and if the area does go through a dry spell make sure to water it. Occasionally throw in a bit of torn-up newspaper strips to add “carbon.” The key to a healthy compost pile is to have a good mixture of green (nitrogen rich) vs. brown (carbon rich) materials. Do not overload on grass clippings and yard waste, but make sure to add some occasionally.
Top the compost pile with fresh soil and walk away. Once you have a pile, the worms will find it, and they will find it quick! However, as I said before, if you would like to speed up the process, you can always add your own worms. Check the area in two to three weeks and watch the progress.
Some folks do two piles: one that is working and another that is ready. This is something you might want to consider doing once your first pile is ready as it ensures you of always having ready-to-use soil. Happy Composting!
April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at email@example.com.