Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Bit About Composting.....

Any garden will benefit from adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil, in order to grow plants well. One of the most beneficial things to add is compost. Compost can be purchased at any garden supply store, but its simple and less expensive to make your own. Its not until you leave the city, that you realize how many folks are actually into it and setting up compost drop offs in their communities. It really is as simple as keeping an old soup pot in the kitchen and discarding all of your fruit and vegetable scraps in the pot. (with a lid of course) Once it fills you take the scraps to your compost pile or bin. The act of composting is putting organic materials in a pile or container, with water to follow. The pile is turned periodically (about once a week) and the beneficial bacteria will thrive. This creates high heat and breaks down the raw materials into a dark, rich soil-like product. There will be no discernible original parts and the finished compost has a fresh earthy odor.

One of composting's greatest aspects, is that the key ingredients consist of things that we often throw away. This contributes less to the stream of trash, which benefits your garden and the environment in which it lives. Compost is created when you provide the right mixture of ingredients for the millions of micro-organisms that do most of the "dirty work". These micro-organisms will eat, multiply, and convert raw materials to compost. We just provide the food, water, and air. The water and air are easy, the food part is a bit more involved. The "foods" consist of two classes of materials, simply referred to as "greens" and "browns". Green materials are high in nitrogen, while brown materials are high in carbon. The green materials provide protein for the micro-bugs and the brown provide energy.

"Green" materials to compost: Fresh (green) grass clippings, kitchen scraps (fruit and vegetables, we would put our scraps from every meal as well, no meat or animal products though), coffee grounds, tea bags, weeds, green leaves, etc.

"Brown" materials to compost: Brown dried leaves, dried grasses, corn stalks (shredded), straw, and sawdust in moderation.
*Never add meat, fish, animal fats, shredded newspaper, office paper, or ashes.*

Consider vermiculture if you have a small indoor herb garden and just want to try composting out. Vermiculture is a way of composting by utilizing earthworms, which help speed up the process. It is easily done in the home, as it only takes a small amount of room and creates no odor. As the worms digest the foods, the components of their waste create a nutrient rich fertilizer. The finished compost will be black and crumbly. Make certain to mix your compost into the top inch of the primary soil. As you water, the nutrients will gradually wash down to the roots. It will yield an endless supply and its organic..Truly living off of the land..Bless....

1 comment:

Simone-of-Jacks-son said...

Thank you!! Vital info.