Composting 101

kerson fruit on grass

As people begin to be more environmentally and economically conscious, composting is becoming more and more popular. However, for many it’s still a new concept. If you’re interested in learning more about this green practice, here are a few composting basics to get you started.

What is Composting?

Composting is essentially decomposing. The leaves that collect in the corner of your yard decompose. If you facilitate the process, then it’s called composting. Composting involves mixing your yard and household organic waste, like food scraps, in a container and providing conditions that encourage or facilitate decomposition.

Why Compost?

Composting is a very environmentally friendly practice. It reduces the amount of garbage we toss into landfills by 20-30% and as we get closer and closer to running out of space, composting becomes more and more important.

In addition to making space in the landfills, composting provides you with a source of chemical free fertilizer, which you can use for gardening and soil conditioner.

Materials to Get Started

To begin composting you’ll need a few things to get started. You can find many of these items at your local hardware or gardening store. You can also buy home composting kits only. These kits come with everything you need and provide a relatively stink free composting experience.

You’ll need a compost bin. The materials will be decomposing here so if you’re keeping the compost in your home, you’ll want a lid as well.

You’ll also need a pitchfork to turn and mix the compost daily.

Finally, you’ll need to find the right place to put your compost. You can create a pile outside in a well-drained area or you can place it in a warm, dark location inside your home.

But what about the actual compost? Can you toss anything in there? Are there right and wrong ingredients? The answer is yes, the ideal compost recipe includes:

  • 1 Part Greens – include grass clippings, kitchen scraps including eggshells and coffee grounds. (Avoid using any meat, fat, grease, oils, dairy products, bones, or animal droppings in your compost.)
  • 25 Parts Browns – include dried leaves, straw, wood chips, paper bags and drier lint.
  • Water – Keep the pile moist but not soaking
  • Air
  • And time

Turn the ingredients every day for about two weeks. In two weeks time you should have a powerful pile of compost to place in your garden, household plants or flowerbeds. Happy composting!

Do you compost?

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