How to Start Composting at Home
May is here and it’s time to rev up ways to get rid of your yard waste!
Composting is natures way of turning your yard “waste” into one of the finest organic supplements known! Think of it as health food for your soil. Spring is the time for planting, so why not give those plants the best nutrients nature can produce?
How to get started?
First decide on what style of compost you want in your yard.
Pile: It’s easy and free to start. Pile composting can be done with or without support such as fencing. These piles typically take longer to decompose and need more space in your yard.
Wire Hoop Bins: Easy and fairly inexpensive to build. Great for keeping your piles stacked and tidy.
Three Bin System or Turning Units: Great for large volumes and allow waste to be turned on regular basis. This method produces a high-quality compost in a shorter time if done properly.
Tumblers: Can be easily filled and rotated. Most active way to compost.
Wood Frame Bins: Easy to build and low costing. Bins can be made rodent proof by adding a lid so you can add food waste as well. Recycled fences or old pallets work well.
Tips and Tricks:
We all know the saying “two is better than one”. So have two piles! One that is “cooking” and one that you are adding materials to.
Keep that pile covered, use a lid on your composter or layer of browns (leaves).
Save. Save. Save. Stockpile leaves throughout the fall and winter to mix with food scraps and grass clippings in the spring and summer.
As every work meeting mentions, it’s all about the balance. A good balance of green and brown materials (nitrogen and carbon) creates that rich, dark brown, finished high quality compost you’re looking for.
Feed yard trimmings to your pile as you generate them by chopping them into small pieces. Food scraps (the smaller the better for quicker composting) need to be buried and mixed into the center of the pile immediately. This will deter critters and allow your materials to start “cooking” right away.