Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Easy Composting

Still in the garden mode!  Composting can seem intimidating at times.  There are many methods but the process is really the same each time.  This article on Ehow
has some good information for those of you who like to understand how things work. 

Being the lazy woman that I am, I have perfected the art of a simplified compost.  It's really simple to make one. 

  1. Save all of your kitchen scraps, except for meat and grease.  The latter two items can make your compost pile yucky and attract critters.   Coffee grounds, egg shells, vegetable and fruit peelings, grains and even paper towels are great! 
  2. Find a spot in your yard that is somewhat shaded and remote, unless you don't mind your neighbors complaining about the pile. 
  3. Layer your kitchen scraps with grass clippings, leaves, and any other natural plant materials. 
  4. Also consider any other paper products you might have to add to the pile such as newspapers, school papers, cardboard boxes.
  5. Other excellent items to add to your pile are dryer lint (if the fibers are natural), chicken poop, straw, hay, and Comfrey plant (it is a wonderful activator).
  6. Sprinkle the pile with water.
  7. Add more scraps as you accumulate them.
  8. Stir the pile a little with a pitchfork, shovel or stick if you feel like it from time to time. 
  9. Sprinkle a little water on your compost pile periodically.  If it rains or snows, don't bother.
  10. Keep adding daily until you feel like the pile will not be manageable any longer when you stir it.  I usually begin a new compost pile after 2 or 3 months.  But that varies depending on the season.  Winter piles don't accumulate as quickly as summer compost does. 
  11. The goal is to to not have too wet of a compost nor too dry.  The materials need moisture and oxygen to break down.  Think "loose and slightly damp". 
  12. Don't be alarmed if your compost becomes steamy.  That is a good sign that it's breaking down at a nice rate.  Also don't be concerned if it has a whitish substance on the decomposing materials.
  13. When your compost is a nice black color and has broken down to small pieces, it is ready to be added to your garden as a mulch or to be turned into the top soil.   The best way I can describe well rotted compost is to compare it to soil in a forest floor.  Dark and earthy smelling.  Beautiful life giving food for your garden!  
An informative article that you may also wish to read is at .  I appreciated the layout of the article and would find it very helpful if I'd not composted before. 

Like Companion Planting, Composting is a wonderful method that can be used in Organic Gardening.  Composting also really helps reduce the amount of trash we send to the landfill each week.

Happy composting!

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