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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Right Way to Compost

Posted by admin on June 22, 2009

There is a right way to compost, and there’s a better way to compost.  The only wrong way to compost is to not do it at all.

I, too, was as guilty as many other gardeners who have wasted time and the benefit of compost in the garden by getting hung up on silly details. Questions like, “Should I use a tumbler, a bin, or just make a pile?”  “What should I put into the compost?”  “How much time and effort will it take to make decent compost?”

Think about it for awhile.  The materials that fall to the forest floor will even break themselves down in time.  It doesn’t require any special handling or human effort.  Your pile will do the same, if you just get started.

Before I would consider composting, I needed a good reason.  There are many reasons to compost.

  • Composting reduce the quantity of material going to landfills, thereby reducing methane and carbon dioxide production that occurs there.
  • Compost is a great source of nutrients for your plants.  It’s better than raw manure and carries a better range of nutrients than chemical fertilizers.
  • Experience increased biological activity in your soil which improves nutrient cycling and improves plant health.
  • Adding compost to your soil helps to hold moisture and reduce runoff.
  • Compost is free (or at least cheaper to acquire) than chemical fertilizers.

Finally, the reason that compelled me to begin composting:

It’s a heck of a lot easier to throw my yard waste into a pile than it is to haul all of it to the landfill.

But, you need to go to Rod Turner to find a better way to compost.  He is the expert on the right way to compost.  If you’re interested in making the world’s best compost, get his book, read it, and follow his simple directions for making the finest plant nutrition you can get.

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Minneapolis Restaurants are Composting

Posted by admin on December 16, 2008

According to Fox 9 News in the Twin Cities, Mayor Rybak is very proud of the ten restaurants that have taken to composting their food waste.  They are hoping that other businesses and residents will take up the challenge to join them in their effort.

The restauranteurs have admitted that their composting efforts cost more money and labor, but believe that it is worth the extra effort.

I’m sure their loyal customers will show their appreciation for the noble cause of these establishments by overlooking the increased food prices this will cause.

I pity the occupants of the lots adjacent to the compost pile if these ten eateries are anything other than vegan.


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How to Compost the Lazy Way

Posted by admin on

The time I”m willing to spend on yard work is very limited, so all my landscaping planning centered around “ease of maintenance.”

Putting in a garden and planning to compost my yard waste goes way beyond the scope of my planning.

I’ve been doing a significant amount of research in preparation for composting my yard, garden, and kitchen waste.  I had resigned mysef to the belief that composting is a very scientific and complicated process. 

I’ve finally found the information that I’ve been looking for.  Anthony at The Compost Bin blog has described a process of composting that fits my M.O.  Furthermore, it is a process that he has tested and determined to be effective for producing quality compost

Thank you, Anthony.  Now I can sleep.

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What Did You Do With Your Leaves?

Posted by admin on December 15, 2008

The theory is that the dried leaves that have fallen from your trees are difficult to compost. There are two easy solutions to that problem.

  1. Mulch them before you put them into the composter.
  2. Add nitrogen rich materials along with the leaves that you put into your composter.

Mulching your leaves can be as simple as running over them with a lawnmower. In fact, using a mower with a grass catcher even saves the time of having to rake them into a pile. That should be appealing to anyone who is as lazy as me.

According to Greg at Reduce Pollution Tips, mixing in one part manure to five parts leaves helpx them break down quicker. He also recommends other nitrogen rich sources such as bone meal, dried blood, or cottonseed.

I don’t readily know of a source for those materials, and furthermore, the thought of hauling and handling cow poop doesn’t have a strong appeal to me. I think I’ll stick to the one handy nitrogen source that is in heavy supply for me – namely, grass clippings and kitchen waste. I’m sure manure would greatly speed the process, but I’m way more into convenience.

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