Did you know that 67% of Americans are willing to compost food waste but think it’s too much effort to do so?
Is compositing worth the effort? It most certainly is!
Compost mixing is great for the soil, it improves plant growth, reduces the use of chemical pesticides, and conserves water. On top of that, it reduces the amount sent to landfill and protects our precious climate.
And the benefits go on and on!
If you’re ready to get earth-friendly, we’ve got some composting tips for the green-fingered gardener in you. Are you ready? Let’s compost!
Ok, so you’re ready to start compost mixing. But what’s the best way to compost? And how to make your own compost?
To find out, read these 5 tips for composting.
1. Compost Mixing — What’s In?
When compost mixing, you can’t just throw anything in. Here’s the composting 101 on what to add to your compost pile:
- Grass clippings
- Dried and dead plants
- Vegetable and fruit peelings
- Coffee grinds
- Vacuum cleaner dust
- Newspaper and other paper products (non-glossy)
- Manure (from plant-eating animals)
The natural composts you make with these ingredients will provide rich nutrients and moisture to the plants in your garden. When it’s full of the good stuff, your backyard will thrive.
2. Keep It Out!
Now you know what to add when compost mixing, what should you avoid? Dodge these things and your pile won’t turn into a stinky slop bucket:
- Meat Scraps
- Fish and eggs (although broken down eggshells added to the middle of the pile are acceptable)
- Oil and grease
- Plants treated with pesticides or herbicides
- Diseased plants
- Poop (waste from cats, dogs or humans may spread diseases and attract pests)
If you’re unsure, one of the most important tips for composting is: when in doubt, keep it out!
3. The 50/50 Calculation
One of the most important tips for composting is to have the right balance. The microbes that break down the compost pile need a balanced diet to do their job. You need a mix of nitrogen and carbon to make it work.
You create nitrogen through green materials. For example, grass clippings, manure, and food scraps. Whereas you create carbon from brown materials, such as wood chips, hay, dead leaves, and paper.
If you add too many greens it will turn into a stinky mess. If you add too many browns, it’ll take YEARS to break down. For the best way to compost, you need this 50/50 balance!
4. Slice It, Dice It
Once you’ve found the balance, another tip is to chop and shred. When it’s chopped into small pieces, it will speed up the decomposition process.
Use a lawnmower to mush everything up for a quick fix. And feel free to give the pile a mix now and again to provide oxygen. This frequent turning will make the mixture decompose quicker.
5. Moisture Control
When compost mixing you need to keep the pile damp, not wet. As you build the pile layer by layer, it needs to remain moist like a damp sponge.
Exposed bins can become water-logged in the rain and dried out in the hot summer months. Keep it closed for full control.
If you’re not sure about the moisture, grab a handful of compost from the center and give it a squeeze. If a few drops of water come out, it’s perfect. If not, you may need to add a little water.
Here’s one final tip: don’t panic! Even if you do everything wrong, eventually it’ll turn into compost anyway. But it might take a little longer than expected.
Now you’ve got the lowdown on composting tips, it’s time to get green fingers. But if you lack the needed time and energy to take on the task, what can you do? Find out the secret here.