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Sunday, May 28, 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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Using composting Worms to create Mountains of organic Fertiliser

Posted by admin on September 26, 2010

The information on this page will teach you about the basics of keeping composting worms. You’ll learn everything from how to set up your first bin to how to brew worm tea.


Move over sliced bread!


Composting worms are all the rage, and it looks like they’re here to stay. Join us, and find out why this wiggling phenomena is becoming so popular. Who knows? Composting with worms may just revolutionize waste management.


Before we get started, please note that there are several different terms to describe composting with worms, including vermiculture and vermi-composting.


All of these terms describe the controlled process of using worms, namely red wigglers (Eisenia foetida), to decompose organic waste, such as kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and manure. After these wastes are broken down, the finished product, or worm castings, are harvested and used as nutrient-rich soil amendments.


These processes can take place in large-scale commercial vermiculture facilities, however, we are going to focus our discussion on the small-scale home vermiculturist, better known as YOU!


We’re going to teach you all about composting with worms, including:


So what are you waiting for? Let’s start wormin’.

red wigglers in compost


There are a lot of different reasons why people compost with worms. For instance, we started because we juice a lot of vegetables, and couldn’t stand to throw all of that wonderful pulp into our regular compost bin. Because this waste was already pre-digested, we knew worms would have to do very little work to make use of it. Aside from that, we started indoor composting with worms because we live in Ontario, Canada, and our outdoor temperatures don’t allow for quick composting in the winter months (November-March). Now that we use an indoor compost bin, we’re able to produce organic fertilizer all year round.


Other reasons to start worm composting include the following: Worm bins are incredible educational toolsIt’s a great hobbyIt helps reduce your household wasteWorm castings are amazing garden fertilizer

Here is a great article from the New York Times discussing the growing trend of vermiculture.


Using composting worms is very easy. Below are some basic vermiculture guidelines to consider before you start your wormy adventures.


A worm bin, or worm container, can be homemade or purchased from a worm bin supplier. We prefer the homemade varieties because they tend to have more character. Also, nothing says compost junkie, like re-using scrap materials to make a new worm bin.


The 3 factors that need to be considered when building, or buying, a worm bin are the shape, size, and materials. You must also consider where you will put your worm bin.


Remember, worms need lots of oxygen, so whatever bin you choose, please make sure it has adequate ventilation. Also, the rule of thumb for bin size is two square feet of surface area per person, or one square foot of surface area per pound of food waste per week.


Below is an image of a worm composting bag, created by Amy, a fellow compost junkie. These bags are wonderful creations that minimize the work needed to harvest worm castings. Food is added to the top of the bag, which keeps the worms near the surface, while worm castings are harvested from the bottom of the bag. Ingenious? We think so. Excellent work Amy.


If you’re interested in building your own worm composting bag, here is a list of step-by-step instructions.

worm composting bin-bag


The most common bedding materials for composting worms, include shredded newspaper or computer paper, leaf mold, peat moss, animal manures, coconut fiber (coir), and wood chips.


Each of these bedding materials has its own list of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, leaf mold is a natural habitat for worms, but it may also contain organisms that you don’t want in your worm bin.


It doesn’t matter which bedding material(s) you choose, you must always remember to add a couple handfuls of soil, or rock dust, to your worm bin. This is especially important if you are just setting up a new bin. These ingredients add “grit” to the bedding materials in your bin. This grit is very important because your worms use it in their gizzards to help in breaking down food particles. The soil has the added benefit of inoculating your bin with various soil microbes, all of which are important in establishing a healthy ecosystem for your composting worms.


Ah, it’s finally time to discuss the workforce within your bin…your worms!


Unfortunately, you can’t just use any old earthworm in your worm bin. The common earthworms that you see in your garden, and those that are on the pavement during rain storms, are typically a burrowing-type of worm. In a bin, we are in need of worms for composting that are surface-dwelling, and that’s why we typically use red wigglers. If you’re interested, here is a more complete history of the earthworm, including how it made it’s way to North America.

red worms composting

The Almighty Red Wiggler is the most common type of worm used in vermiculture systems. Other types, such as blue-worms (Perionyx excavatus), are better able to withstand warmer temperatures, so they are used in more tropical regions.

How many worms do you need?


Composting red worms are typically sold by weight, rather than by number. So if you see a quantity of worms listed by your worm supplier, please know that this is just an estimate. It would be quite hard for your supplier to make any money, if they spent their entire day counting worms.


3 factors to consider when determining the number of worms you need to purchase are:

the size of your binthe amount of money you want to spend, and the price of the wormsthe amount of food waste you’ll be adding to your bin each day

For a typical-sized worm bin (surface area = 2′x2′), being used by an average-sized family (3-4 people), we suggest you start with a minimum of one pound of worms. A pound of worms will usually cost between $30-$50. Always remember, with time, your one pound of worms will quickly grow into two pounds, if your bin is maintained properly and your worms are well fed. You will eventually want about one pound of worms per cubic foot of volume in your bin.


The best place to buy composting worms is online, or from angling and bait shops. If you’re going to buy composting worms online, we’ve compiled several reputable worm suppliers from across the United States and Canada. Please take advantage of these reputable suppliers, and offer them your patronage when possible.


It is very important to ensure you are not over-feeding your composting worms. If you are new to the composting-worms scene, we suggest you start by monitoring your feedings very carefully. This means that you’ll have to start by feeding smaller amounts of food. By feeding smaller amounts, you will quickly get a good idea as to how much food your given quantity of worms can handle.


A worm can consume more than its weight each day. If you start with roughly a pound of worms in your bin, expect to be able to feed them at least one pound of waste each day.


Below is a short list of foods to feed your composting worms. Please visit this page for a more comprehensive discussion on proper worm foods.


As it is with all of our composting ventures (outdoor composting bins, composting toilets, compost tumblers), to successfully compost with worms, you must ensure the conditions are right. When using composting worms, you want to ensure you have the right moisture, temperature, aeration, and pH levels. To learn more about each of these factors, please click on the corresponding term.


Traditionally, there are two methods used to harvest composting worms from your worm bin. The first method is referred to as the low maintenance harvest, and the second method is referred to as the medium to high maintenance harvest. Below is a small definition of each. If you’d like more information about these specific harvesting techniques, please refer to our harvesting composting worms page.

Low Maintenance Harvest – This method has two phases: the feeding and phase and the fasting phase. During the feeding phase, you feed your worms for a period of three to four months. This is followed by the fasting phase; during which time, you do not feed any food for three to four months. During the feeding phase, your worm population grows and starts to consume the food. During the fasting phase, your worm population peaks and eventually dwindles to nothing (when all food supplies are exhausted). At this time, you can easily harvest all of the worm castings from your bin. Unfortunately, following this method means that you will have to purchase new worms every six to eight months. worm compost bin

Medium to High Maintenance Harvest
How you use this method to harvest composting worms will all depend on the design of your specific worm bin. Some bins require that you dump your bin out and sort the composting worms by hand; whereas, other bins allow the worms to do all the sorting. An example of a bin design that allows the worms to do all of the sorting, can be seen to the right. To learn more about all types of worm bins, please visit our worm bin page.


Worm castings, or vermi-castings, are the more technical terms used to describe the poop of composting worms.


We often think of worms consuming soil and decaying organic matter; however, they are actually going after the bacteria, and other microbes, present on the surfaces of these substances.


Another interesting fact about a worm’s digestion – It is not the worm’s own enzymes that breakdown the substances it consumes. Instead, these substances are broken down, and processed, by the bacteria present in the worm’s intestine.


So how does all this fit into the health of your plants?


Since a worm’s gut is dominated by bacteria, the vermi-castings it produces are also dominated by bacteria. If you refer back to our page on compost tea, you will recall that specific plants thrive in more bacterial-dominated soils (compared to balanced, or fungal-dominated soils). For instance, annual plants, including vegetables and flowers, love bacterial dominated soils. So we can assume that they’ll welcome an application of worm castings. However, worm castings are quite potent, so you must make sure you use them properly.


For more detailed information about the use of worm castings as a soil amendment, please visit out worm-casting page.

We are NOT using the term, worm tea, to describe the liquid that percolates out of your worm bin. We refer to the liquid that drips out of your worm bin as worm leachate. We do not recommend that you use worm leachate directly on your plants, or directly as a soil conditioner. The reason being – worm leachate contains a number of partially decomposed substances, some of which have the potential to be phytotoxic (i.e. harmful to plants).


If you want to use this worm leachate, we suggest you dilute it with water (preferably distilled), and apply it to the soil around your plants. Try to avoid using this mixture as a foliar spray. If your worm bin is fairly mature, you will probably see some benefit.

What do we mean when we say worm tea?


We are referring to the tea produced when you substitute, all or some, of the compost in compost tea with worm castings. This mixture will then be actively aerated and fed, just like a regular batch of compost tea. But don’t forget, worm castings are bacterial-dominated, so be sure you take that into consideration before you brew your tea.


 

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How to Choose a Composter For Backyard Composting

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Let’s start our discussion of composters by establishing exactly what constitutes a composter. A composter is a bin or container in which organic waste material are placed to breakdown and decay through the process of decomposition. The result is a nutrient-rich compost, which is great to use in your flower beds or your garden. A composter can be as simple as a homemade compost bin made out of recycled pallets or it can be a manufactured compost bin or compost tumbler.

Two benefits of manufactured composters are they usually do a better job of keeping the critters out of your organic waste, and in most cases manufactured composters speed the composting processing by containing the heat generated by the composting process thereby speeding up the decomposition of your organic materials. Thus, you end up with compost for your garden more quickly than composting in a pile or heap and often with less effort.

What kinds of composters are available? Basically, composters come in three different types: compost bins, compost tumblers and worm composting bins. Each composter has its advantages and disadvantages.

The most basic composter is a compost bin. The average compost bin on the market is made out of heavy-duty plastic and is usually black or dark-green in color, which is great for retaining heat (remember heat is good to help speed up the composting process).

Compost bins are simple, easy to put together and are usually less expensive than compost tumblers. Most of the bins are no more than three feet high and are very unobtrusive and can be placed in a discreet location in your yard. Again, most manufactured compost bins have a lid to keep out varmints and some sort of door to allow access to the finished compost. One disadvantage is that it is sometimes difficult to turn or mix the compost materials. Turning or mixing the compost materials helps ensure more thorough composting. Compost bins hold an average of 80-160 gallons of compostable material and can produce finished compost in several months.

The next type of composter is a compost tumbler. A compost tumbler is usually a little more expensive than a compost bin, but it has definite advantages. A compost tumbler, as the name implies, allows the composting chamber to be turned on its axis, which makes for easy mixing of the organic materials. Compost tumblers can produce finished compost more quickly than most compost bins because of the ability to turn and mix the compost materials.

The only work required when composting with a compost tumbler is to give the compost tumbler a spin or two each week and when new organic material is added. Most compost tumbler hold similar volumes as compared to compost bins and can produce finished compost in several weeks.

The last type of composter is a worm composting bin. As you might suspect, worms are involved in the composting process with worm composting bins. The nice thing about a worm bin is that it can be used indoors. Now I know it sounds a little freaky to have worms in your house, but a worm bin is made to safely house the worms and compostable materials so that you don’t have to worry about a smell or a mess.

The typical worm used in worm bins is a red brandling worm-the kind of worm most people use for fishing. The worm bin typically has several trays. The bottom tray is filled with moist bedding materials, such as shredded newspaper. Worms are then added and another tray is placed atop the tray containing the worms. In this tray you place your organic materials. The worms find their way into the upper tray and begin feasting on your garbage. The worms leave behind castings or worm poo, which is some of the most nutrient-rich compost available. After several weeks, these castings can be harvested and used in your garden.

The only concern with a worm bin is that you need to avoid temperature extremes if you keep your bin outside. It does not need to be in direct sunlight and as the evening temperature nears 40 degrees, it will be necessary to bring your worm bin into the garage or basement.

How much do I need to spend on a composter? The typical price range for a composter is from under $100.00 to around $400.00 depending on which model you purchase. Most compost bins are in the $100-$150 price range, and most compost tumblers are in the $200-$400 price range.

What is the best composter for me? To answer this question, you need to figure out what kind of composting method you might prefer. There are basically two kinds of composting methods-I call them the “patient composting method” and the “results-oriented composting method.”

If you are the type of person who is not really in a hurry to have finished compost, and you are composting more out of a desire to do your part in helping the environment, you may want to consider some kind of compost bin. Compost bins fall under the “patient composting method” category because it usually takes several months before you have finished compost.

If, on the other hand, you are someone who wants to get on with things, you may want to consider a compost tumbler. Compost tumblers fall under the “results-oriented composting method” category because you can usually have finished compost in several weeks. For example, someone who is an avid gardener and wants a continuous supply of compost for his or her garden is one who should seriously consider a compost tumbler.

What composter do we recommend? I know you have a lot of information to think about, but we have some suggestions to help guide you in the right direction.

Cost Conscious Consumers may want to consider the Soil Saver Compost Bin
Value Conscious Consumers may want to consider the Tumbleweed Compost Tumbler or the Envirocycle Compost Tumbler
Quality Conscious Consumers may want to consider the Jora JK270 Composter, the Jora JK125 Composter

Start composting! We hope that you have found this information helpful in deciding which composter will suit your composting needs. As a final resource, we have compiled reviews of our top nine composters in our Composter Buying Guide.

There is a composter out there for everyone. Go find yours today! Good luck and happy composting. Remember, “Don’t throw it away, compost it!”

GoodCompost.com is your source for composters and composting equipment, as well as composting know-how. We are here to help you get started composting at home today. Come by for a visit. http://www.goodcompost.com/

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How to Compost – Three Easy Steps to Good Composting

Posted by admin on September 25, 2010

It is estimated that the average person throws away around 4 pounds of garbage per day. Around 75 percent of that garbage is comprised of organic matter, which means it is compostable. Isn’t it time we started doing our part to reduce the amount of garbage ending up in landfills and learned how to compost?

Composting is a way to speed up the natural, biological process through which organic wastes are reduced to humus, which is dark, earth like organic matter that has reached the point where it will not break down any further. This finished compost or humus greatly improves soil texture and better enables the soil to retain nutrients, moisture and air for the support of healthy flowers and vegetables. Composting is something we can all do to help the environment, and it is rather easy to learn how to compost.

It is important to remember that there is no “right or wrong” way to compost. You can make good compost in a pile or heap in your backyard or you can make good compost in a manufactured composter.

The secret to making good compost is the proper mix of organic material. There are three main ingredients involved in composting.

1. Browns-dead leaves, branches, cardboard, paper, etc.

2. Greens-grass clippings, fruit and vegetable wastes and coffee grounds

3. Water

The browns add carbon to your compost pile, the greens add nitrogen and the water provides moisture to assist in the breakdown of organic matter. Your compost pile or composter should contain equal amounts (50%/50%) of browns and greens with enough water to make the organic matter moist but not soggy.

In learning how to compost, let’s now consider the four stages of the composting process:

1. Fresh: At stage one, the materials being composed are dark in color and still easily recognizable; micro-organisms are sparse and just beginning their activity; a rise in temperature can be observed: This is the heat phase.

2. Partially Decomposed: At stage two the compost has a mild, not unpleasant odor; it contains many micro-organisms the materials being composted are very loose and brittle, and almost unrecognizable; mushroom may be present, aiding to decompose the most resistant materials: cellulose, lignin, and wood; chemical exchange takes place during this stage: This is the gaseous and liquid phase.

3. Mature: At stage three, recombination of decomposition products from preceding stages occurs: This is the humidification phase.

4. Aged Compost: At stage four, the compost looks almost like soil (loam); it resembles natural topsoil; its organic matter and nitrogen content are low: This is the mineralization phase.

At this point we should have a better idea of how to compost. Now, you may be asking yourself, “How do I start composting?”

1. Determine which method you desire to use. Will you create a compost pile or heap? Will you build a compost bin? Or, will you purchase a manufactured composter?

2. Next, start being diligent in separating your garbage. Start setting aside materials that can be added to your compost pile or composter. Of course organic materials such as vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and egg shells can be added. But, you can also add things like toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls and shredded cardboard as well.

I have a cross-cut shredder and shred all “white” paper from my junk mail, and I add this shredded paper to my compost bin. Do not use colored paper or paper printed with colored inks as these are not good for your compost. Also, be sure to keep out things such as envelopes with glassine windows, as these materials do not readily break down in the composting process.

Finally, yard waste, such as grass clippings, is a great nitrogen-rich additive to your compost pile or composter. Be careful not to put weeds or invasive plants in your compost pile or composter because you do not want to run the risk of these plants “infecting” your compost.

3. Remain committed to your composting endeavors. With some diligence you should have your first batch of compost in 3-4 months using a compost pile or heap and even sooner if you use a composter. Composters retain the heat generated from the composting process, which in turns breaks down the organic materials more quickly. Also, compost tumblers assure that the compost is well mixed, which further aids in thorough decomposition. With compost tumblers you can have finished compost in as little as 3 weeks.

As you can see, learning how to compost is not as difficult a task as you may have expected. The biggest challenge is changing your lifestyle so that you are more conscious of what, in your “world,” can be composted. Composting is a wonderful way to recycle your garbage and turn it into nutrient-rich compost to be used in your garden, while at the same time reducing the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills.

Start composting today! Composting is good for the environment and your garden. For more information on what items can be composted, you may want to read “What Can You Compost?”

GoodCompost.com is your source for composters and composting equipment, as well as composting know-how. We are here to help you get started composting at home today. Come by for a visit. http://www.goodcompost.com/

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Worm Composting – Those Wigglies Eat Your Garbage

Posted by admin on September 23, 2010

Worm composting – I am sure you have heard of it, but what the heck is it? Worm composting is a wonderfully efficient way to convert kitchen scraps and other organic materials, cardboard and junk mail into nutrient-rich compost for your garden. Did you know that these wiggly composters can eat their body weight in garbage in a day? That’s a lot of composting going on.

Earthworms are very efficient little composters leaving behind some of the richest and most productive compost known. These worm castings or worm compost contain 5 to 11 times the amount of available of N-P-K (N – nitrogen, P – phosphorus and K – potassium) as the soil the worms ate to produce those castings. So how do these wiggly composters do their magical work? The worm’s intestinal tract secretions act to chemically liberate plant nutrients with the aid of the microorganisms present in the soil. These wonderful earthworms tunnel through your soil day and night liberating plant nutrients wherever they go.

To be successful at worm composting, it is important to understand the needs of your little composters. If you were to buy 1,000 worms and thrust them into your compost pile, you would likely end up with many causalities. Most earthworms cannot tolerate the heat of an active compost heap. Composting worms prefer a much cooler climate.

Essentially, there are two different methods of composting-hot and cold. Earthworms definitely prefer the cool composting method, also known as the Indore composting method. Composting worms are naturally attracted to the Indore method attacking the compost heap from the bottom. The worms will reproduce quickly, increasing their population several times over. The earthworms mix the nutrients within the compost heap and stabilize them for growing plants.

There are many kinds of earth worms. Red worms and brandling worms are the species usually sold by earthworm breeders. Brandling worms and red worms work very well in a compost heap or manure heap. Field worms and night crawlers are larger worms and will attack compost heaps from the bottom but prefer to retreat into the soil after having done so. Night crawlers and field worms do not like the heat of an active compost pile.

To start worm composting, create a no-heat compost pile using a modified Indore method. Begin by making a normal-sized compost heap-say 4′ in diameter, but only make the heap 15″-18″ high. Shred all organic material as finely as possible and immediately introduce manure type worms into the heap. The worms will start working right away. This way the heap will never really heat up because the core of the heap will remain exposed to the cooler outside temperatures. There are a few disadvantages to this method. It is time consuming to shred the organic materials for the compost heap, and any grass or weed seeds present will not be killed off by the heat generated by a normal compost heap.

When removing finished worm compost from your compost heap, make sure to leave a sufficient number of earthworms behind for the new organic matter that will be added to the pile. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. One way is to harvest half of the compost pile leaving the rest behind to start another heap. If, however, your composting worm population is in a fledgling state, you can use the “scalping method.” Begin by removing several inches of compost from the heap and wait 30 minutes before removing another layer. The remaining earthworms will be driven back into the compost heap by the sunlight. Repeat this process several more times until you have harvested the finished compost.

Compost piles and heaps are great for attracting worms; however, there are also a number of manufactured worm bins that are great for worm composting. These manufactured worm bins make it possible to compost your organic materials indoors. This type of worm composting is called Vermicomposting. One such manufactured bin is the Worm Factory 360. This worm bin has an improved design, which allows for better air flow resulting in faster composting of organic materials.

Hopefully, you have come to see that worm composting is not as mysterious as you may have thought. If you have not started composting at home, worm composting is a wonderfully efficient and easy way to begin. Also, worm composting is a great way to teach your children about the positive aspects of composting. What child doesn’t like a worm?

To learn more about the Worm Factory 360 mentioned in this article, you may want to check out our review of The Worm Factory 360. Remember, “Don’t throw it away, compost it.”

GoodCompost.com is your source for composters and composting equipment, as well as composting know-how. We are here to help you get started composting at home today. Come by for a visit. http://www.goodcompost.com/

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The Benefits of Compost Bin Composting

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Compost manure is the best nutrition you can give to growing plants. Because it is rich in natural plant material means that it’s the best type of fertilizer to feed to your plants.

Organic fertilizer of this nature is not exactly easy to make but after you have finished with it you will have good manure that will make your plants grow faster than the typical inorganic fertilizer that is sold in agricultural shops.

Compost bin composting is a new method of making compost that people now prefer to the usual type. This new type of manure is made from the normal compost materials; the only difference is that this is made in a garbage bin. So instead of throwing the plant material in a hole dug in the ground you simply fill up a garbage bin in place of a hole.

The process of manuring is the same; the only other difference is that the compost bin has to be kept inches from the ground to prevent rusting. A lot of people prefer compost bin manure because it’s a cleaner way of making compost manure. The old type of compost heaps could easily be messy and untidy especially with a dog around that just loves pulling at twigs and heaped up material.

The fact that it’s cleaner means that people who were always opposed to compost heaps on grounds of filth can very easily make manure. Something else to really adore about compost bin manure is that it’s convenient for small households that are too small to have space for compost manure. Therefore if you have a small garden on your apartment balcony you can easily maintain it using a simple garbage bin.

In addition to this the manure comes out finer when there are enough micro-organisms to decompose the plant material. Because the plants remain trapped the decomposing process is faster under such humid conditions.

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Why Home Composting is So Great!

Posted by admin on September 22, 2010

Have you heard of composting, but just aren’t sure what it means? Not sure why how compost can benefit you? If you haven’t started composting at home yet, now is the time! Home composting is more than just a growing trend among gardeners, it’s a great way to recycle your kitchen scraps and yard refuse into something you can use-compost!

So what is compost and why is it so beneficial? Compost is a fresh black material similar in appearance and texture to potting soil. It is produced naturally when organic material breaks down and decays (a process also known as composting). The resulting compost is rich in nutrients that plants love, making it one of the best types of fertilizer you can use. Compost, also known as black gold, can be tilled into the soil before trees, shrubs, or other plants are planted. It can also be applied to the soil around existing plants. Compost will help plants grow bigger, faster, and stronger than you ever thought possible.

Better yet, composting is a way to recycle! We all know that recycling is the right thing to do. The more items we can keep out of our landfills, the better. And after all, why throw away things that you can turn into valuable compost? Simple things like vegetable peelings, dead leaves from your trees, and plant clippings can all be turned into compost. It just makes sense to recycle these things into compost rather than throwing them away.

So how do you get started with home composting? Well, first you need to decide what type of composting you want to do. There are two basic types of composting, aerobic and anaerobic. Anaerobic composting refers to methods such as a compost pile. Compost piles are one of the easiest methods of composting. They require little effort and virtually no maintenance. Simply pick a spot in your yard (preferably far away from your house; keep reading and we’ll explain why) and begin a pile of the organic materials to be composted. Sounds easy, right? While anaerobic composting is easy, there are also some downsides. First is the length of time required. The microbes that break materials down in anaerobic composting are very inefficient. When you pile things up in a compost pile, it can take several years for them to fully break down and become finished compost. The second problem is the odor produced. Many people think of composting as a smelly process, and when it comes to anaerobic composting, they are correct. Anaerobic bacteria produce methane and sulfate gasses as a byproduct of the composting process, and these are gasses that we find very offensive and smelly.

Aerobic composting, on the other hand, is an entirely different process. Just like the name would suggest, aerobic composting requires oxygen, meaning that the organic materials being broken down must be aerated regularly. A compost pile can be mixed and turned regularly to encourage aerobic bacteria; however, this is often a difficult and labor-intense process. The easiest way to compost materials aerobically is to buy a compost tumbler. Compost tumbler bins are designed to be rotated, so that the aerobic microbes get the oxygen they need to create finished compost. In contrast to anaerobic bacteria, aerobic microbes are very efficient and quick. A compost tumbler, under the right temperature and moisture conditions, can usually produce finished compost within about 6 weeks. Even better yet, aerobic bacteria do not produce smelly gasses like anaerobic bacteria, meaning that aerobic composting is a virtually odorless process. Compost tumbler bins can be easily purchased through many online and mail order stores.

No matter what type of composting you decide on, home composting is still a great idea. Not only is composting good for the earth, it’s also great for your plants and garden. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of turning garbage and yard waste into something really valuable that you can use. Home composting isn’t just for master gardeners anymore, so what are you waiting for? Start composting today!

Visit Home Products ‘n’ More for more information on home composter units. We also offer free shipping on compost tumbler bins!

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Compost Bin Composting: A How To

Posted by admin on September 21, 2010

The nature of gardening is such that the best care should be given to pot plants or garden plants. Growing a garden and taking care of vegetation is somehow like raising your own child; the right attention, love and care ought to be present for healthy growth. Compost bin composting allows the gardening enthusiasts to do just that: love and care for you garden and compost.

Compost bin composting is when you use a bin to make your compost out of either manure or scraps. This is very unlike the conventional method that entailed digging a deep hole in the ground and filling it up with dead and live plant matter. And much cleaner; and I guess, can make your garden or lawn look that much more decorative and pleasing.

What you do is take compost bin and set it outside in the sun. The holes in the side of the compost bin are for oxygen to circulate freely since the microorganisms that breakdown plant matter need it to survive. Another reason is for water to trickle out slowly enough to promote decay.

After having done this you can begin filling the compost bin with dead and live plant matter in equal proportions. Anything like mowed grass; leaves from tree branches and even twigs. Put a lid over it and leave the manure in the sun and wait for decomposition to start.

Every once in a while you should turn the compost around so that it remains aerated and oxygenated. When there is inadequate moisture- perhaps a rain barrel could be in your future as well – fill it with water some more. After a month your compost should be ready for harvesting.

If you’re using a compost bin that is not made of plastic, make sure it is hoisted on a wooden stand so that it does not rust.

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Basics of Compost and Composting In Gardening

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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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Composting: Create A Feast For Your Garden Straight From Your Kitchen

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Compost Soil

It has been estimated that the average American household disposes of more than two hundred pounds of kitchen scrap waste yearly. This is waste that is going into our landfills when it could be enriching our gardens. Composting is a lot easier to achieve than most people realize. If you have an organized system, it will take no more time to compost than it does to trash your scraps.

There are many variations of compost bins available for purchase on the market ranging from simple to extravagant and expensive. You may choose this route, or you may like to build your own. This is a relatively simple task; you must just ensure that your bin or box is covered to keep animals away yet still allows for drainage and aeration. Many install a screen on the bottom of the bin to help with this problem.

Almost all forms of kitchen waste can be easily composted. This will make an inexpensive and yet rich fertilizer for your lawn or garden. There are two categories of commonly used composting items: green nitrogen rich substances and brown carbon rich ones:

Green materials that you can compost are: Herbivore animal manure, coffee grounds and filters, fruit trimmings, peeling remnants and cores, vegetable peelings, leaves and remnants, grains, grass clippings, green leaves, hair and fur, shredded newspaper, tea bags, and houseplants.

Brown Materials to be used for composting are: cardboard rolls that are shredded, clean paper that is shredded, dry leaves, straw, newspaper that is shredded, nut shells, pine needles, sawdust, wood ships, wool rags, vegetable stalks, crushed eggshells, and fireplace ash that is not from coal.

Here are items that you should take care not to add to your compost pile: Anything containing chemicals or that has been chemically treated, bird droppings, bones, cat or dog feces, human waste, ashes from coal, colored paper, dairy products, diseased plants, grease in any form, and treated wood or wood products. These substances can be toxic to both plants and humans

You generally want to try to keep a ratio of brown to green material at 25:1. Carbon materials break down very slowly and will keep your compost pile from completely decomposing and being ready to use. On the other hand, if too many nitrogen substances exist, this can create a bad odor that will also attract animals to your bin.



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