Monday, July 25, 2011

What is Compost?

Compost is a natural soil amendment and garden fertilizer. It can be made FREE using kitchen scraps. Apple cores, celery or carrots parts, rinds and peels from fruits and veggies...throw it all in there! But don't stop there- also use grass clipping, dead leaves and other yard waste.

Not only does composting save money on expensive fertilizers and soil amendments, it keeps all of this "trash" out of your garbage bin and out of landfills.

Using compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity.

Warning: Everything I read about compost says not to use meat, diary or pet waste in your compost.

Do I need to buy a fancy (expensive) composter? No way!

In my own yard I have a big (dark) plastic tub which I drilled holes into the bottom. I've added my kitchen and yard "waste" and then a layer of soil...repeat! Every 4 or 5 days I go out into the yard and turn it over. No, I don't dump it out, "turn it" is garden-speak for stir or mix. The more I "turn" the mix the faster it seems to decompose.

What's in My Compost Bin?

Cherry stems, apple cores, lime rinds, coffee grounds, tea bags, celery leaves, potato peels, carrot ends, cucumber and onion bits, egg shells (washed and dried), grass clippings, dead leaves, dead flowers, mango skins. I might have forgotten a few things but you get the picture.

Stay away from using lawn clippings or additives with chemical fertilizers or pesticides!

Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms and decomposing waste. These three ingredients are essential for a thriving veggie garden.

Happy Planting!

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