Best Items for Composting: A How-to Guide
Composting is cheap, easy, and essential for any gardener. Compost adds valuable nutrients to the soil, helping the fruits, veggies, plants, and flowers that you’re cultivating the opportunity to thrive.
The result is healthy, fruitful cultivations that make you proud. Although enhancing the life of the garden is the biggest benefit of compost, there are many other advantages that you’re offered when participating, including:
- Composting is a great way to remove kitchen waste without filling up trash bins
- Environmental benefits are admirable by all who compost. A reduction in waste at the landfill is always beneficial
- Reduce the need for fertilizers and other gardening supplies
- Saves money
- Lowers carbon footprint
- It is rewarding to compost and help the environment
- Anyone can easily learn how to compost, purchase a few supplies and get started
These are exciting benefits but only the start of a few that comes your way as a composter. It is safe to say that you shouldn’t wait a day longer to start composting and enjoy them all for yourself.
How to Start Composting
No matter who you are, how old you are, or where you live, composting is an activity that you can learn and start enjoying. Thousands of people across the country are composting already and the sooner you join the crowd, the better. It is easy to start composting and the benefits start shortly thereafter.
After you decide that you want to compost, you should decide what you will compost. The list of compostable items is literally endless, but some are easier to compost than others. A list of the best and worst items to compost is found below. Use this list to get started, keeping in mind that there are dozens and dozens of additional items that are great for composting.
Once you’ve decided what you would like to compost, it is time to purchase a bin. A compost bin is a helpful item that allows you to store the various items you’re composting. These bins are available in a variety of sizes with various features and functions and at various price levels. Compare a few bins to find one most suitable to your needs.
A good compost layer consists of:
- Wood Chips on the bottom
- Layer of green leaves
- Layer of brown leaves
- A layer of grass clippings
- Layer of kitchen waste
- Brown leaves
This is just one of many variations of compost that you can create to toss into the garden to enrich the soil and better cultivate your garden. It is important to water the compost to feed the microbes that create the important nutrients.
Keep the compost moist, but not wet, for best results. Aerate the compost mixture every so often and be sure that you use a thermometer to ensure the temperature range is between 140 – 160 degrees F, the temperature in which it thrives. In a period of about three months, most compost is ready to use, although some can take as long as 12-months to fully develop.
Composting Materials: The Good & The Bad
The list of compostable items is extensive. Items best for composting are categorized into either a brown waste or a green waste category. It is advisable to check that the organic matter to ensure that it doesn’t attract disease or pests.
Best Green Waste for Composting
Leafy, green waste is categorized into green waste material. These compostable materials are high in nitrogen content. Choose fast-rotting greens such as:
- Herbivore manure (cows, rabbits, etc.)
- Grass clippings that are freshly cut
- Tea Leaves
- Tomato plants
- Young weeds (no perennials)
- Potato plants
- Vegetable peelings
- Fruit peelings
- Flowers -Chop the stems and avoid plants with disease
Best Brown Waste for Composting
Slower-rotting items with high carbon content are classified as brown waste. Brown waste is dead and rotting organic materials, including:
- Hay and straw
- Cardboard (Tear into small pieces)
- Dead leaves
- Sawdust (Should be mixed well with other ingredients)
- Hedge clippings
- Coffee filters (Paper only)
- Coffee grounds
More Compostable Items
Aside from green and brown waste, the following items are compostable:
- Wood Ash
- Animal hair
- Human hair
- Egg shells (crushed up)
Items That You Should Never Compost
Some materials are organic, but are still not suitable for composting. These items include:
- Cat litter
- Coal ash
- BBQ coals
- Dog feces
- Cat feces
It is time to start composting! Now that you know how easy it is and the massive benefits, you probably cannot contain your excitement. There are so many other people who share in those thoughts. Don’t miss out any longer.
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