Composting is one of the simplest ways you can recycle while also improving the quality of your soil. It increases the nutrients, and in turn the health of your soil, reduces landfill waste, brings beneficial bugs into your soil that ward off plant disease and it’s just overall good for the land.
The good news is that composting requires very little effort and resources. Almost all of the produce used in your kitchen is great to use for compost. If you live in the country, it will save you a trip to the lawn and garden store. So, we’ve broken down the best sources to use and which not to use and how to do it.
Materials that work best for compost are table scraps, lawn and garden weeds, ground coffee, grass clippings, wood ash, newspaper and shredded paper, cardboard, flowers, eggshells, corn stalks, dryer lint, chicken manure and wood chips.
Materials that won’t work are bones, any fish scraps, diseased plants, pet manure, fruit peels. You can use sawdust but only if it’s scattered thinly or mixed with something.
If you’re ready to start composting, there are a few easy steps to follow. Keep in mind that all compost materials are either carbon (brown / decomposing) or nitrogen based (green / fresh material). Make sure you get a balance between the two. A healthy compost will have more carbon than nitrogen. If you’re in doubt, use more carbon.
- Lay twigs or straw about few inches in the ground to aid drainage.
- Start your pile to allow beneficial organisms (the good bugs) to aerate the compost.
- Add compost materials alternating dry and moist materials in layers.
- Add manure or a nitrogen source to active the compost.
- Cover the pile with wood or plastic sheeting. This will help keep in heat and moisture.
- Every few weeks, turn the pile with a shovel or pitchfork to add oxygen. Once you have compost, you can add in more materials.
Although outdoors is often the most common way to compost, you can have a compost pile indoor as well using a special type of bin that you can buy at a hardware or lawn and garden store. Composts are normally ready to use in three to five weeks.
If you’re looking for more space to create your own compost, United Country Real Estate specializes in country homes and homes with acreage. Contact one of our experts today to start searching for your dream property.