Composting 101: Tips and Tricks

Composting is a simple yet impactful practice that can significantly turn around your garden while helping you work towards a more sustainable living. Composting is much easier than it seems and can help you create nutrient rich soil amendments just from your waste at home! Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, here are some tips and tricks to help your garden thrive. 

  1. Choose the Right Location: Pick a spot out of reach from foraging animals and near a well drained area with enough exposure to the air to aerate out your waste. Now since compost is literally waste, the odors emitted aren’t quite pleasant. Place your pile somewhere farther away from your prettiest flowers and in a less conspicuous spot. If possible, shade and easy access to water is beneficial to your mound and would help it break down just a little faster. 
  2.  Know what you can and can’t Compost: Fruits and vegetable scraps can be tossed into your pile alongside materials such as eggshells and newspapers! However, you must avoid meat and dairy because they attract pests, and slow down the composting process. Synthetic chemicals and pet waste should also not find their home in your compost mound. 
  3. Balance Greens and Browns: Greens are nitrogen rich materials such as scraps from your kitchen and browns are carbon rich materials such as dry leaves and newspapers. Aim for around a 50/50 split between these two types of  items. 
  4. Chop and Shred: Breaking down your waste before you put in the compost mound helps them decompose at a much faster rate and creates a more uniform mixture.
  5. Pay Close Attention to your Compost: You must keep your pile moist, not terribly soggy or dry. Occasionally turn over your pile and mix your materials to distribute moisture and ensure a more even decomposition.   
  6. Patience is a Virtue: Composting takes time, much like other things and is a slow and possibly frustrating process. Depending on external factors such as temperature, your compost might take anywhere from weeks to months to be fully ready. You will know your mixture is ready once the bottom has a dark and rich brown color. 
  7. Use! You can mix your compost into soil in your garden to improve structure and water retention. Thanks to all the different food waste put into your pile, compost is naturally extremely nutrient rich. 

Overall, Composting is an easy at home process that requires no outside materials (you own everything you need!). By following these 7 tips and tricks, you will be well on your way to creating a successful compost mound in no time!


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