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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Composting Basics Using Compost Bins

Posted by admin on September 27, 2010

Did you know that waste in excess of 60% that is created by the average U.S. household could be recycled or composted? Regrettably, only 8 percent of American waste is composted, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Did you also know that yard waste, such as grass trimmings, adds up to almost 20% of all garbage produced every year? When dumped into a landfill site, organic matter like food and grass trimmings occupy a large area and play a significant part in the formation of methane gas, a greenhouse gas that “remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9-15 years…and is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Composting organic matter like food and grass trimmings is simple, especially when using a purchased compost bin. Making a compost pile on your own is certainly an option, but compost bins on the market come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and time and again, make the process of composting virtually effortless. No matter how you choose to compost your organic wastes, the benefits of composting are indisputable. Composting helps the environment by decreasing greenhouse gases and other contaminants in the air that would be created because of simply throwing organic wastes into the local landfill or incinerator. Composting also saves money by providing you with free fertilizer for your garden. Finally, compost puts nutrients back into the soil, making your garden soil richer and plants healthier.

The initial phase in composting is to select a compost bin. Compost bins are obtainable in all shapes and sizes, so the size of your garden or yard is not an issue. Large compost bins let devoted gardeners with a sizeable growing area the ability to make enough compost to last throughout the growing season. On the other hand, small compost bins can fit in the kitchen or on the balcony of a small apartment home and provide enough compost for house plants and a small herb garden. Knowing how much time you wish to spend tending to your compost pile and how much space you have to devote to a compost bin will benefit you while you select the most appropriate compost bin.

Now that you have selected the best compost bin, it’s time to begin filling it with organic matter. But can you put any kind of organic matter into a compost pile? Unfortunately, no. The common advice is to fill your compost bin with a mixture of 50 percent “browns,” and 50 percent “greens.” The “browns” add carbon to the mix and consist of some of the ingredients that follow:

Dried leaves
Straw
Chopped Cornstalks – must be shredded or chopped into very small pieces first
Shredded Paper
Shredded Cardboard
Paper Towels

“Greens” add nitrogen to the mix and comprise a few of the items that follow:

Grass Clippings
Garden Trimmings
Most Kitchen Wastes (see below for exceptions)
Fresh Hay
Manure from non-meat eating animals

Do not include the following types of organic matter into your compost bin unless properly prepared first:

Plants with diseases
Grass clippings with pesticides or other chemicals
Hedge trimmings and branches
Nut shells
Peat moss
Pine Cones and pine needles
Sawdust
Sod and soil
Weeds
Wood ashes
Wood chips

For information about how to prepare these types of organic matter for composting, visit the website of your local agricultural extension office.

Some organic matter does not belong in a compost bin. Never add the following items to the compost bin:

Animal related products that would attract pests and create an odor problem including bones; dairy products such as butter, cheese, mayonnaise, salad dressing, milk, yogurt, sour cream; fish scraps, meat
Other food wastes including cooked food, peanut butter, fatty or greasy foods
Manure from meat-eating animals (including humans)
Charcoal and briquettes
Dishwater
Glossy and/or colored paper
Sludge (biosolids)

Maintaining your compost pile depends on the type of compost bin you have selected. Some compost bins require that the pile be mixed periodically, but some compost bins require no mixing. Refer to the compost bin manufacturer’s instructions for details.

By purchasing or building your own compost bin that meets your specific needs, and by following some basic rules and recommendations, you can create your own dollar stretching, earth friendly, plant enriching compost.

Trey Collier is owner of BackyardCity.com, North America’s finest Outdoor Casual Living Store, designed and created to help fashion outdoor living spaces. Since 2001, BackyardCity.com has offered internet customers quality outdoor living products, including Compost Bins, at very reasonable prices.

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Basics of Compost and Composting In Gardening

Posted by admin on September 21, 2010

Compost is a term derived from the French term ‘componere’. For those who are not much aware of the gardening basics, compost is a mix of decayed matter that is mostly used for the purpose of conditioning and fertilizing. Organic matter is forms the raw matter of the composting process. With time, it breaks down and forms what is known as humus composting.

The essential ingredients are: moisture, organic waste, bacteria and oxygen. Following the formation of the compost, the ground should be covered at about three to four inches height. Then the soil should be plowed well to make sure that it has been absorbed by the soil.

If you want to make garden compost at home, there are several ways out. Firstly, get hold of a bin and then accumulate all the vegetables and fruits that you have kept aside to dump in the bin. You may also put in the eggshells and vegetable and fruit peels. Upon your discretion, you may also put in weeds, grass, dead leaves, straw and such other materials. The process is even better if the above materials are shredded before putting them into the bin.

Always make sure that you use materials that pace up the process only with the help of sufficient air and water. If you diligently follow what has been mentioned above, then within a span of two to five months, you can have the compost mix ready.

What forms the best part about the compost is that they are very good for the health of the soil as they are believed to be very rich in nutrients. Composts can be used on a variety of soil. Gardeners prefer clay soil with compost as it helps them to maintain a luxurious garden where they can grow a variety of fruits and vegetables.

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