The Beginner's Guide to Composting

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Having the right gardening supplies can make a significant difference in how your garden turns out and can save you time by making gardening maintenance easier. Using a compost pile or bin can help you to keep your garden healthy by providing nutrient-rich soil. Composting is a great way to use kitchen and yard scraps to make your soil more fertile. Experienced gardeners know just how important it is to have healthy soil, because not only will your produce survive, but you will also enjoy a larger yield.

Collecting Scraps

To begin composting, you'll want to designate a specific bucket or bowl in your kitchen specifically for collecting kitchen scraps. I would suggest finding a container that has a lid in case your compost has an odor.

Here are some kitchen scraps that are perfect for your compost pile:

  • Eggshells

  • Coffee grounds and used coffee filters

  • Used tea bags

  • Banana peels

  • Produce scraps such as vegetable peels, strawberry tops, watermelon rinds, etc.

  • Cardboard

  • Pet hair

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Yard waste like grass clippings and leaves

  • Sawdust

You'll also want to avoid adding any types of meats, bones, dairy, plastic, or oils to your compost.

Your kitchen scraps will decompose faster the smaller they are, so you might want to add all your scraps to your blender and pulse it a few times to speed up the composting process.

In addition to your kitchen container, you're going to need a different composting container for outdoors that is much larger to allow you to rotate the compost. An outdoor container is not necessary, but it can help your compost to decompose faster and more efficiently.

Taking Care of Your Compost

Now that you have your composting bins and scraps, you are ready to start making compost! You will want both kitchen scraps and yard waste materials in your compost pile, making sure to place your outdoor compost container in a warm sunny area since heat is a necessary part of the composting process.

You will also want to keep your compost moist. If your compost does not naturally stay moist from rain, then use a garden hose to wet down your compost as often as needed. Even though you want it to stay moist, you should avoid having any standing water in your container.

You should stir or rotate your compost every week to aerate your pile and keep it consistently decomposing. This is where a rotating composting bin comes in handy because you can just turn the container over. If you do not have a rotating compost bin, then you will need to use a shovel to stir your compost.

You may decide to add worms to your compost pile, because worms can help keep your compost healthy for multiple reasons. Worms burrow through dirt, which helps to aerate your compost. They also help speed up the decomposing process by eating and digesting the soil, leaving it richer in nutrients. Red wiggler worms are an excellent type of worm to add to your compost since they thrive off kitchen waste and can tolerate hot temperatures.

It will take about six weeks for your kitchen scraps and yard waste to decompose into rich, black dirt. Once your compost has turned into black, crumbly dirt, you are ready to start adding it in your garden and with your house plants.

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By Anna from Blessed Beyond Crazy

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