Composting Do’s and Don’ts
Like recycling? Well then, you’ll like composting too. It’s the same thing, except instead of plastics, cans, paper, and bottles it involves recycling organic matter—veggie and fruit scraps, grass clippings, leaves, even newspaper amongst other things. Mix this matter together in a bin and with the right amount of time and stirring, the end result is compost—a nutrient-rich natural fertilizer. Making your own compost not only keeps these scraps from being loaded into a garbage bag and sent off to the landfill, it’s also much cheaper to make your own compost than to buy it. Use compost to help soil retain moisture and enrich it to help your flowers and vegetable gardens or grass grow. Compost helps to keep pests at bay and encourages the growth of friendly bacteria, which makes for super healthy soil.
Tip for starting:
Composting is not hard to do. You can use compost in potted plants or in a garden or on grass. Or offer it up to a neighbor. Some cities offer curbside collection of compost materials if you aren’t able to use them yourself. Want more info on composting? Here’s a more detailed look at how it works: https://www.planetnatural.com/composting-101/making/how-it-works/.
- Make it easy to keep scraps: Keep a small bin under your kitchen sink for fruit and veggie scraps and peels. Line it with a compostable bag, making it easier to take out to the compost bin when it’s full.
- Outside: keep a larger bin where you can mix in your kitchen scraps, with grass clippings, straw, newspaper, whatever fits the bill. You’ll want to layer greens with more fibrous brown waste, such as dried leaves. Keeping a mix gives the compost bacteria a healthy diet and keeps your compost from getting slimy, smelly and attractive to other critters.
- Keep it moist: Once the compost gets going, you’ll want to make sure your compost stays moist, which might mean adding water once in a while.
- Getting started: When you start your compost, leave the mix of ingredients in your compost to sit for at least two weeks before turning. This will allow the heat to build up in the middle of your mix to begin the natural process of decomposing, or making compost. Compost in the making needs compostable content, oxygen, moisture and heat.
- Turning and replenishing: Once your compost gets going, you’ll want to turn it or stir it every few weeks or so. Use it and replenish it as you go.