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Monday, December 18, 2017 at 2:01:33 EST

EverGreenCoin Gardens Compost

 

EverGreenCoin Gardens

EverGreenCoin Gardens

 

Compost

 

 

Compost

Composting is a simple way to add nutrient-rich humus which fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil. It's also free, easy to make and good for the environment.

 

Composting Benefits:

Soil conditioner: With compost, you are creating rich humus for lawn and garden. This adds nutrients to your plants and helps retain moisture in the soil.

Recycles kitchen and yard waste: Composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the garbage can.

Introduces beneficial organisms to the soil: Microscopic organisms in compost help aerate the soil, break down organic material for plant use and ward off plant disease.

Good for the environment: Composting offers a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers.

Reduces landfill waste: Most landfills in North America are quickly filling up; many have already closed down. One-third of landfill waste is made up of compostable materials.

 

There are several types of composting.  They are:

Composting Basics

Onsite Composting

Vermicomposting

Aerated (Turned) Windrow Composting

Aerated Static Pile Composting

In-Vessel Composting

We wont cover  ll the different ways to compost, but we wanted to show you all of  the options in case one or more of them do not work for you.  A lot of how you compost will depend on how much time you can give to your composting project(s).

A lot of people talk about what you can can’t compost.  You will see industrial composting operations using huge thermometers and heavy equipment.  Some will say not to compost meat or newspaper.  We will just point you to the book ‘Compost Everything’ by David the Good.

How to Compost

  1. Start your compost pile on bare earth. This allows worms and other beneficial organisms to aerate the compost and be transported to your garden beds.
  2. Lay twigs or straw first, a few inches deep. This aids drainage and helps aerate the pile.
  3. Add compost materials in layers, alternating moist and dry. Moist ingredients are food scraps, tea bags, seaweed, etc. Dry materials are straw, leaves, sawdust pellets and wood ashes. If you have wood ashes, sprinkle in thin layers, or they will clump together and be slow to break down.
  4. Add manure, green manure ( clover, buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings) or any nitrogen source. This activates the compost pile and speeds the process along.
  5. Keep compost moist. Water occasionally, or let rain do the job.
  6. Cover with anything you have - wood, plastic sheeting, carpet scraps. Covering helps retain moisture and heat, two essentials for compost. Covering also prevents the compost from being over-watered by rain. The compost should be moist, but not soaked and sodden.
  7. Turn. Every few weeks give the pile a quick turn with a pitchfork or shovel. This aerates the pile. Oxygen is required for the process to work, and turning "adds" oxygen. You can skip this step if you have a ready supply of coarse material, like straw.

Once your compost pile is established, add new materials by mixing them in, rather than by adding them in layers. Mixing, or turning, the compost pile is key to aerating the composting materials and speeding the process to completion.

Note: If you want to buy a composter, rather than build your own compost pile, you may consider a buying a rotating compost tumbler which makes it easy to mix the compost regularly.

 

Carbon/Nitrogen Ratio

All compostable materials are either carbon or nitrogen-based, to varying degrees. The secret to a healthy compost pile is to maintain a working balance between these two elements.

  Carbon - carbon-rich matter (like branches, stems, dried leaves, peels, bits of wood, bark dust or sawdust pellets, shredded brown paper bags, corn stalks, coffee filters, conifer needles, egg shells, straw, peat moss, wood ash) gives compost its light, fluffy body.

 

Nitrogen - nitrogen or protein-rich matter (manures, food scraps, green lawn clippings and green leaves) provides raw materials for making enzymes.

A healthy compost pile should have much more carbon than nitrogen. A simple rule of thumb is to use one-third green and two-thirds brown materials. The bulkiness of the brown materials allows oxygen to penetrate and nourish the organisms that reside there. Too much nitrogen makes for a dense, smelly, slowly decomposing anaerobic mass. Good composting hygiene means covering fresh nitrogen-rich material, which can release odors if exposed to open air, with carbon-rich material, which often exudes a fresh, wonderful smell. If in doubt, add more carbon.

 

Make This Super Easy Compost Bin

 

DIY Rotating Compost Bin

How To Start and Make a Hot Compost Heap

 

Composting 101

 

Back to Compost & Fertilizer

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