Makes free, super rich soil which your plants will love.
Re-uses many things that would otherwise go into the landfill.
Causes beneficial organisms to multiply- kind of like what probiotics do for us.
Tidys-up the yard
How to do it-
Decide on how you want contain your compost. Can be a bin, a trench, a pile or a container made specifically for the purpose.
Place a layer, approx. 4inches deep, of plant matter containing nitrogen, (green stuff), in container or on pile.
Follow with a approx. 4inch layer of carbon containing stuff, (not green stuff. Usually brown, tan, yellow or white)
Repeat 2 and 3 until container is full. This may take many or few days.
Optional – a scoop of soil now and then. Alfalfa meal acts as a catalyst, speeds things up and adds nutrients
A bucket of water every few days during hot weather. Creatures that break down plant material, primarily earthworms need some moisture-not swimming and not totally dried out. That’s it!
What can go into compost-
While they can be composted; worms don’t really like citrus or tomatoes so I rarely add them
Branches- cut in 4in long pieces Veggie peelings Leftovers - without the Nasty 5 below* Oatmeal, rice, or beans* Tea bags or coffee grounds, or liquid no cream Egg shells Natural fiber clothes- torn in strips, if possible Extra Scobies from Kombutcha making Shredded paper Dry dog food, not canned Bunny poop is ok, also hay and alfalfa
If it looks dry, consider it dry (carbon). Ideally you can use 2 parts dry to 1 part green, but 1:1 works fine. If you use large quantities of green material your compost will smell like the elephant’s pen at the zoo.
Plants that are obviously diseased or insect ridden should go into the trash- your compost may not get hot enough to kill all the creepy stuff
DO AVOID THE NASTY 5 - What should NOT go in the compost pile
1. Bones 2. Meat 3. Grease 4. Blood - Food leftovers that contain the above will attract rodents and create smells and germ growth 5.Poop-bird, dog, cat or people. Home based compost making cannot kill all the pathogens in these.
I use a variety of containers to make compost-
Our municipality sells a commercial product, “the earth machine” at cost. It is the best compost-maker type product I have ever purchased.
Old curbies- a hard-plastic, block shaped container, with drainage holes, work well
You can make holes in an old dresser drawer or use ugly old planters or chicken wire made into a cylinder About 36X36in.
You can even dig trenches in your garden beds and put kitchen scraps in them remembering to cover with a scoop of soil after each addition.
Note: What we do that has worked very well for us is: we have a rectangular container with a tight lid that we keep under our kitchen sink for fruit and veggie peelings, coffee grounds, tea bags and egg shells. We take it outside every day or 2 and pour into our outdoor compost containers. We alternate layer this stuff with the contents of our paper shredder.