Composting for Beautiful Produce
Want to grow summer tomatoes that are the envy of the neighborhood? How about flowers that are perfect for arranging? Compost may be the answer to you are seeking. Earlier this week we talked about how you can use a garbage disposer to get rid of your kitchen scraps by flushing them down the drain. What if you don’t want to flush them down the drain but instead want to harness the power of that waste for your garden? We have answers!
Composting is easy to begin. There are a couple of basic things you will need:
- A container. You will need a container that can keep your organic material in one place, and keep moisture in, but also lets air flow through. You can either purchase one that comes ready to use with features like a handle to turn the compost or make one with salvaged pallets.
- Brown and green waste. Brown waste like dried leaves, twigs and dry grasses must be used in conjunction with green wastes like peels, vegetable bits, fresh grass clippings and fruit peels. Always add a bit of brown waste when adding green waste to balance the moisture/air balance.
- Keep your mixture moist and turned at all times. While it doesn’t require daily maintenance, you should check it each time you dispose of a batch of green waste, or weekly, whichever is most frequent.
- Place your compost bin in a sunny location so that it is able to warm up during the day. If the compost bin is too cold, the breakdown process will slow.
- Avoid dairy and meats. These can rot and attract dogs, mice, raccoons, skunks and nuisance animals. Instead dispose of these in the trash or through your garbage disposer.
It can be intimidating, but you should just start. As you work with it you will learn more about the specific needs of your compost bin. When your compost smells like rich earth soil, and is crumbly, it is ready to be used. Use as a top-dressing in your garden, as a soil amendment or as a growing medium.
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