Composting is a win-win situation. In addition to being a fantastic cost-effective way to nourish the soil, it is also a great way to reduce the amount of trash traveling to the landfill.
Before starting on my biodegradable adventure, I made sure to read up on composting. It turns out there’s a lot of information out there and there are many different opinions on what works best. Here are 14 things I have learned over the years…
1) Add only plant matter and non fatty items to your compost pile. Veggie and fruit scraps, bread, egg shells, leaves, paper, plants are all ok.
2) Do not compost dryer lint. I have seen it recommended. It is a practice best avoided since many clothing fibers are synthetic and often treated with harsh dyes and chemicals.
3) A good ratio of browns to greens is: 1 part green to 2 parts brown. Although some prefer 2 green to 1 brown or even a 1:1 ratio. Trial and error is the best in this situation. Mostly due to the fact that 1 part of browns is lighter (leaves) in comparison to 1 part of greens (veggie scraps). Browns are dry materials such as leaves and paper. While greens can be veggie scraps and grass clippings.
4) A handful of soil helps to add beneficial bacteria to the compost. Similar to what a probiotic does to your belly.
5) Stir/spin compost pile or barrel often.
6) Heat and freezing temperatures both help to biodegrade matter. Although, heat is much faster.
7) If your compost smells bad, something is off balance.
8) If you ask for a compost barrel for Mother’s Day, you will want another one on your birthday. You need 2 barrels! One to “rest” while you fill the other.
9) Most compost barrels have a liquid reservoir at the bottom to collect “compost tea”. This needs to be diluted, but it’s an excellent fertilizer.
10) Add water occasionally to keep the compost moist.
11) Bugs are beneficial-they are great decomposers.
12) Items such as egg shells, paper and thick shelled veggies should be crushed a little prior to composting.
13) Your garden will love compost, but if you have an over abundance, it makes great fill dirt. Especially when you have voracious diggers. (kids)
14) It’s a great way to teach children the value of reducing what goes into our landfills. Along with demonstrating how certain items biodegrade in given conditions.