Composting provides vital nutrients to your growing plants while giving you a way to reduce your trash output each week. Every gardener should consider making or purchasing compost. The plants will thank you! Composting might seem confusing, but it isn’t. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about compost.
What is Compost?
Composting takes materials from your yard and kitchen and turns them into a rich soil amendment. In your designated container, you put the organic matter that will eventually decompose. It is a natural process of recycling materials, such as veggie scraps. Using compost is really part of General garden maintenance. Gardeners don’t refer to compost as “black gold” for no reason!
Benefits of Using Compost
All of the materials that break down to create the compost leaves their nutrients in the compost. Using compost provides your garden plants with nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, and beneficial microbes necessary to thrive.
Other benefits include:
• Enhances the plants’ ability to withstand common diseases.
• Improves the flavor of the fruits, veggies, and herbs.
• Retails soil moisture.
• Reduces your volume of trash.
What Can You Put in a Compost?
You will be surprised at the items you can put into your compost. Chances are you toss these items into your trash can each day.
• Veggie Scraps
• Fruit Scraps
• Coffee Grounds
• Tea Bags
• Shredded Leaves
• Grass Clippings
You should never put dairy products and meat into your compost. Certain manures, such as rabbit manure, is an acceptable choice. Cat and dog feces should never go into your compost.
Making Your Compost at Home
Making compost at home is easy! There are several options for containers. Some people build a box with wooden posts or pallets, using metal fencing on the exterior to hold in the soil. Make sure, if you use reticulation, that you don’t hit it with your lawnmower. Retic can damage your lawnmower and weed trimmers.
Once you have your compost bin selected, start by putting a few layers of shredded leaves or grass clippings at the bottom of your compost. Each day, put in your green and brown materials. Consider keeping a small bin in your kitchen, so you only have to make one trip out to your compost bin each day.
You need to turn your compost. Some store-bought composters come in a stand and easily turn. If you make a compost bin, use a shovel to turn the materials over.
Start Composting Now
There is no wrong time to start composting. Remember that you still need to use fertilizer in your garden. Fertilizer feeds the plants, while your compost feeds and replenishes the soil. Both work together for healthy, happy plants.
If you don’t have space for a compost bin, don’t worry! Every garden store sells fantastic options for bagged compost. While homemade compost is free, both still provide the same benefits. Your plants will thank you.