How to Use a Composting Bin

 How to Use a Composting Bin

Simply put, composting is the process of recycling naturally decaying organic matter and turning it back into rich, healthy, beneficial soil. So, we compost to save money, help our gardens thrive, and keep the planet better for everyone by producing less waste!

Composting is a simple way to add organic matter to soil that is no longer full of nutrients. Fertilizers act as stimulants for plants and help them stay healthy and avoid diseases. Composting restores vitality and life energy to the soil while avoiding the use of harsh chemicals to fertilize your garden. Even by avoiding the use of chemicals, we cannot prevent all chemicals from rainwater. Consuming less helps everyone. Another plus is that it's 100% free! The compost pile is your personal composting company.

What Are the Benefits of Compost?

It moisturizes and renews the soil.
You can reuse household and kitchen items that are usually disposed of.
It reduces waste and litter in landfill.
It is good for communities, the environment and every person on the planet.
It introduces beneficial organisms into the soil that help plants resist diseases and stay healthy.

How to Start a Compost

Let's say you have a large yard to start your compost pile in. If you don't, or you think it's too much work, you can buy a compost bin, or make your own!

1. Start your compost pile on the bare ground. This allows insects and other beneficial organisms to aerate the compost and eventually transport it to your garden(s).

2. Place some sprouts first, 2-4 inches deep. Doing this drains the water and helps air flow through the pile.

3. When fertilizing, do so in layers, alternating between dry and wet/wet elements. Food scraps, tea bags, seaweed, and other wet substances are examples. The dry components are sawdust, straw, and leaves.

4. Next add fertilizer, by which I mean green manure (alfalfa, buckwheat, wheatgrass) or any source of nitrogen. It activates the fertilizer and accelerates its decomposition process.

5. Water the pile occasionally or let the rain do the work.

6. Cover the pile with whatever you have on hand – a tarp, a piece of wood – carpet scraps are good too. Covering the pile retains heat and moisture and prevents the pile from becoming too wet. You want and need some moisture, but you don't want to end up with a smelly pile of trash. Overwatering will cause the pile to rot.

7. Finally, turn the pile over with a shovel or pitchfork every few weeks. Pile circulation is necessary to keep air moving, and compost needs oxygen.

Tips and Suggestions

Carbon vs Nitrogen. More carbon should be present in your compost pile than nitrogen. Too much nitrogen will make the pile smell like a big pile of trash, and I doubt you want your garden to smell that way! The carbon will give the pile a nice smell. If you have doubts about what's in your pile, add more carbon content!

Small pieces versus large pieces. When you can, make all the cuts as small as possible: chop, shred, shred, and break. All items should be cut into small pieces whenever possible. By doing this, nature can break things down faster and speed up the decomposition process.

Rotate the stack. The biggest pain and worst thing to do with composting is turning the pile. If you want to reduce it, add more materials, such as straw and twigs. Harvest fresh manure from the bottom and add it from the top. Spin that arrow!

Compost means something extra in your flower bed, but you still need compost and dirt. Compost is rich in nutrients and should be treated as an organic fertilizer. So, don't build a compost pile and think you're going to grow things in it, it doesn't work that way.

Carbon Material Can Be Composted

Here is a list of carbon materials you should use when fertilizing your garden:

Pine needles
Shrub scraps from pruning
Straw or hay
Corn cobs (chopped or shredded into bits)
Shredded paper
Wood pellets
Shredded cardboard
Dryer lint

Nitrogen Material Can Be Composted

Table scraps (no meat or bones)
Grass clippings
Fruit and vegetable scraps
Garden weeds
Flowers (cuttings and stems)
Coffee grounds (filters can be added too)
Tea leaves

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