Visit our composting basics post for more information on composting.
Eartheasy.com is a treasure trove of information related to sustainability. The website’s composting guide highlights the benefits of composting, but it also goes into greater detail about the composting process.
Why begin composting? Well, according the Eartheasy, there’s several benefits to composting in your backyard.
Soil conditioner: Compost adds rich nutrients to your plants and soil.
Recycles kitchen and yard waste: Composting can divert as much as 30% of household wastes from the garbage can to your compost pile.
Introduces beneficial organisms to the soil: Microscopic organisms in compost help aerate the soil and break down organic material.
Good for the environment: It’s a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers.
It’s nice having compost on-hand. It can improve the health of anything growing in your yard or your garden.
How to compost
Start your compost pile on bare earth. You want worms and other organisms to aerate the compost. There’s also a chance these organisms will be transfered to your flower or vegetable beds.
Aide drainage by laying twigs and straw on the bottom layers.
Add compost in layers. You want to alternate between moist and dry ingredients.
Adding manure can speed up the composting process.
Cover the compost heap or pile. You don’t want pesky critters digging through your heap. Rain can also over wet your compost.
Turn your compost every week. Doing this aerates the pile. Decomposers need oxygen to live, it’s important that you “add” oxygen to your compost by turning it.
- Discourage flies and other bugs by covering exposed fruit or vegetable matter with grass clippings, sawdust or wood chips.
- Unpleasant odors? Don’t add meat or bones to your compost. If your compost still stinks, try adding lime or calcium. If your compost smells of ammonia, add straw or dried leaves.
- Only use compost as a soil additive, not a growing medium.
- The soil under your compost will be very rich with nutrients. Use it to bolster existing growing sites or starting a new site.