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Are you thinking about composting in your garden but put off by the idea?
If so, what makes you reluctant?
Composting is not difficult and it needn’t be messy either.
If you have pondered the idea but not yet it into practice, read on to find out why it’s a wise move and how to go about composting the easy way…
Why You Should Compost
There are a wide number of reasons why it makes perfect sense to compost.
We’ll highlight some of the most common benefits that come from taking the time and effort to build a compost heap and spread that compost all over your garden.
- Seriously Reduce Garden Waste: Fully one-third of most household waste comes from a combination of food waste and garden debris. While your local authority might well provide a bin and offer to remove food waste, if you can keep it out of the landfill site you’ll be doing your bit for the environment while enriching your own garden into the bargain
- Save Money: This is a two-way bonus. Firstly, you can bring down the costs for your local government in a small way by keeping your waste on the compost heap and out of the landfill site. If you’re not quite so civic-minded, think of your own savings. You’ll be able to cut right back on buying manure or soil conditioners so you’ll slash your own expenses by composting
- Use Fewer Pesticides: By adding some healthy, natural compost to your soil, you can neatly sidestep your dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Not only can these impact the environment negatively, they’re extremely costly as well. Go natural, heap up that compost and everyone’s a winner.
- Build Up Your Soil: The loss of topsoil around the world is happening at such a rate that there’s little over a half-century left before problems start developing. By building up the healthy soil in your garden through composting, you can play a small but valuable role in soil preservation.
- Save Water Over Time: For water to be efficiently retained, the soil needs to be healthy. When you compost, you’ll give the root systems of your plants some added strength. This will help them to keep more water in and less will run off.
- Improve The Quality of Foods You Grow: If your garden at home is a haven of delicious fresh produce, you can further enhance this food by composting your soil. Not only will your fresh food taste better, you’ll increase its nutritional value at the same time.
How To Compost
Now you’ve got a good idea of why you should embrace composting, how do you go about it?
Luckily, it’s super-simple!
1) Start Collecting Your Waste in a Suitable Container
To get the ball rolling, find a small trashcan or suitable container so you can begin the process of stockpiling your waste for the compost heap.
Here are some things you should consider tossing in the container…
- Coffee grounds
- Coffee filters
- Tea bags
- Fruit peel and scraps
- Vegetable offcuts
- Newspaper (shred it first if possible)
- Plant clippings
- Egg shells (crushed)
These are just a few ideas so get creative and you’ll soon see the container swelling.
A word of warning: Avoid throwing any meat or meat products into the container. This is a surefire way to attract pests and nuisances into the garden. It will also spoil and smell. Forget about any diseased plant offcuts or weeds as well. You’re aiming for a healthy garden!
2) Make a Compost Heap
Once your container is full and you’ve got a decent pile to get started with, choose a suitable place in the garden for your compost heap.
It’s time to mix all the green and brown material together. It’s a smart idea to make layers of wet green interweaved with layers of drier brown waste.
As you’re allowing your compost heap to build, add more brown items if it’s looking too moist. Pile on some more green waste if it looks like it’s drying out too much.
3) Water Your Compost Heap
The key with watering is to use a very light hand. The last thing you want to is saturate the compost too much. If you water excessively, you’ll end up killing the precious microorganisms you want to cultivate. The end result will be a pile that festers and rots rather than turning into compost.
A good way to check if the compost is properly decomposing is to thrust your hand into the center of the pile. It should feel warm to the touch. If that sounds unappealing, use a thermometer instead. The optimum temperature range is 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
4) Mix It Up
Don’t worry, you won’t need to undertake ongoing and labor-intensive daily maintenance. All you should do is turn your compost pile on a weekly basis using a fork. This will ensure it’s adequately oxygenated.
When the compost is within the suggested temperature band, mix it up vigorously with your fork and turn it over.
The layering at the early stage was only to help you get roughly the right balance of green and brown waste. At this point, shoot for a thorough mix instead.
5) Put That Compost To Work!
Now all the hard work’s done, it’s time to give your garden the treat it deserves.
When there’s no more heat and the compost starts to dry out to a crumbly brown consistency, you’re ready to roll.
When planting season kicks in, add 4 inches or so of your compost to pots and flowerbeds.
A Final Word
We trust this brief glimpse at how to get the most out of your garden with composting has given you the encouragement to give it a try.
If you need any further advice, we’re always just a message away.
Come back soon for more useful tips and tricks about all aspects of the home and garden.