It’s free! It’s all natural It’s naturally balanced It’s an outstanding fertilizer It holds moisture, protect against drought It can be used to make your own potting soil It can be used as mulch You are keeping waste out of landfills Yard waste and food make up 23% of landfill waste!
Where? Close to garden Close to water Close to house? Compost bin or pile or …? Size (at least 3 X 3 X 3) Cover?
Carbon-nitrogen ratio (usually brown and green, except manure is “green”) Organic matter Avoid Coal ash (high in sulfur and iron) Colored ink (heavy metals) Diseased plants Inorganic material (plastic, aluminum, glass) Animal products (meat, bones, dairy, fat) Dog and cat poop Synthetic chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, etc)
But … You can speed up the process Chop or shred larger items Turn the pile Make a big pile Keep it in the sun You can make the process more efficient Add algae or seaweed Add alfalfa Add manure Add blood meal
Can be used after a couple of weeks if it has heated up to 140 or more Will take 3 months to a year to completely decompose
Composting with worms Many of the same benefits as regular composting But even more nutritious for plants Can be used by people living in an apartment Doesn’t stink or attract flies when done properly Can compost fats and dairy products (gravy, salad dressing) Can be used to make potting soil Can be used as a top dressing or vermicompost tea
Can buy a fancy bin Can make a worm bin out of a plastic storage bin with lid Drill holes in sides, top, and bottom Add bedding Spritz it to make it wet Add worms Feed worms (tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells, dinner scraps, junk mail, etc.) Harvest vermicompost As worms multiply, make new bins!
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