Tips for Composting at Home

Capture-web1Compost is a simple way to add nutrients to your soil to fuel plant growth and restore vitality to depleted soil. Composting garden debris at home from previous seasons is a great way to rejuvenate soil for the upcoming growing season. Benefits from composting include natural soil conditioning, reducing waste; composting can divert up to 30% of household waste away from a landfill, introduces beneficial organisms to the soil, and is a good environmentally safe alternative to chemical fertilizers.

At home composting is easy and inexpensive, start off by fastening four wooden skids together to form your composting bin. Another option is to use chicken wire to form a three foot diameter to place your compost in.

Waste from the garden, as well as the house can be composted. Compostable items include tea bags, grass cuttings, vegetable peelings, fruit scraps, old flowers, nettles, coffee grounds and filters, spent bedding plants, rhubarb leaves, and egg shells. A low maintenance pile has a combination of brown and green plant matter. Shredded newspaper, wood chips, and dry leaves are ideal brown elements. While kitchen waste and grass clippings are the perfect green matter.

Do not compost plastic bags or cutlery, Styrofoam plates, glass, porcelain, meats, dairy items, or any liquids. Meat and dairy items tend to attract unwanted pests to the pile so it is best not to add those items in. Also make sure not to add diseased plants to your pile, this could spread the disease.

Once your pile is started, mix in water to the debris to help break down the material. Make sure to add material regularly, and to always keep it moist. By Fall the beginning of the pile should be ready to use. Mix the compost into the soil before the next growing season and give plants a healthy head start.