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  December 20, 2014
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Composting 101
Celebrating Earth Day and Going Green

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Composting 101

Have you ever noticed how some people have beautiful, vibrant flower gardens or grow large, scrumptious looking vegetables almost with ease? They might have a green thumb, but chances are it better that it’s their soil. If you use compost, your soil has a richer composition that is better for your veggies and flowers. This healthy and sturdy soil produces those gorgeous flowers and mouth-watering vegetables we all wish we could have in our own gardens. Guess what? Now you can have them. It just takes a little know-how about composting.

Composting is not hard. The entire family can get in on the act. If you have a family garden, composting will be quite helpful to you. Let’s discuss the benefits of composting as well as how to create a compost pile that can enrich your soil naturally and produce those growing beauties.

Composting is Healthy for the Environment
Creating compost reduces the amount of trash in the landfill. We throw away a lot of food which is the majority of our waste. Using those food scraps in compost gives precious nutrients back to the soil instead of the garbage heap.

Basically composting is the process of using plant matter and other materials to enrich the soil. You let the items decompose and blend them in with the soil as nourishment for whatever you are growing. You can also use compost as mulch in flower gardens instead of wood chips or pine needles.

Getting Started with Your Own Compost Pile
So how do you begin? First, find a place to compost. You can buy compost bins or make your own. With an inconspicuous place in the back yard, you don’t even need a bin. Compost will decompose in a pile all by itself.

Once you’ve chosen your location and storage unit (or none at all), it’s time to begin filling it. Composting problems occur when the wrong things are added to the compost pile. That’s why it’s important to know what you can safely and effectively add.

What to Include in Your Compost Pile
There are two types of compost materials that fill two needs of the compost pile. First, there are the wood products. Those include wood chip, straw and leaves. You can also throw those pesky weeds on the compost pile as well. These materials add pockets of space to the compost pile so air can reach everything that goes into it.

Secondly, you have the food material and grasses. Grass clippings, fruit rinds, vegetable waste, and even coffee grounds make great compost. Compost needs to be moist for the bacteria to survive and digest properly. This type of material is what provides the moisture.

As long as your compost pile has air and a moderate amount of moisture, the bacteria, along with insects and worms will do their job. When these two things are absent, you get the yucky foul smell of garbage. Constantly turn the compost pile over with a rake or hoe so all the material gets air. Ever wonder why food sent to the garbage doesn’t just decompose? It’s because it doesn’t get air in the garbage pile.

Compost is ready when the ingredients are not recognizable anymore. It usually takes on a dark brown color once it’s ready.

Use your leftovers and lawn trimmings to grow a beautiful lawn, flowers or vegetable garden by creating a compost pile. You can start anytime. Why not today?

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