Composting is, in broadest terms, is the biological reduction of organic wastes to humus. Whenever a plant or animal dies, its remains are attacked by soil micro organisms and larger soil fauna and are eventually reduced to an earthlike substance that forms a beneficial growing environment for plant roots.
This process, repeated continuously in endless profusion and in every part of the world where plants grow, is part of the ever-recurring natural process that supports all terrestrial life. The entire composting process is difficult to contemplate in its full dimensions. Let’s just say that compost and composting are, like water and air, essentials of life.
We have composed a series of articles to help you start your adventure in composting. There’s plenty of info here to assist in honing your skills. Enjoy and welcome to the fascinating and rewarding world of composting!
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Composting Made Easy
Compost is natural mulch and a soil amendment. Commercial fertilizers were created to replace the use of compost. Unlike commercial fertilizer you don’t have to pay for compost. Compost can be made without spending a cent. Compost improves soil structure……………
The Compost Decomposition Process
Compost is the end product of a complex feeding pattern involving hundreds of different organisms, including bacteria, fungi, worms, and insects. What remains after these organisms break down organic materials is the rich, earthy substance your garden will love. Composting replicates nature’s natural system of breaking down materials on the forest floor………
Most organic material are suitable for a compost pile. The compost pile needs a proper ratio of carbon-rich materials, or “browns,” and nitrogen-rich materials, or “greens.” Examples of the brown materials or carbon are dried leaves, straw, and wood chips. Examples of the green materials or nitrogen are fresh or green, such as grass clippings and kitchen scraps………………
Summary of Common Composting Materials
Do I Need a Recipe?
Microorganisms and other soil fauna work most efficiently when the ratio of carbon-rich to nitrogen-rich materials in your compost pile is approximately 25:1. In practical terms, if you want to have an active compost pile, you should include lots of high-carbon “brown” materials (such as straw, wood chips, or dry leaves)……………
Types of Compost Bins
To save space, hasten decomposition, and keep the yard looking neat, contain the compost in some sort of structure. A wide variety of composting structures can be purchased, or made from a variety of materials. They can be as simple or complex as desired………
Compost Site Selection
Generally speaking any pile of organic matter will eventually turn into compost. A well-chosen site will speed up the process. Look for a level, well-drained area. Locating it close to the back door makes it easier to add kitchen scraps. If you put it too far away, you’ll neglect the pile. In cooler latitudes, keep the pile in a sunny spot……….
The two methods of generating compost can range from passive – allowing the materials to sit and rot on their own – to slightly to highly managed. Managing the compost means that you intervene in the process. If your goal is to produce as much compost as possible to use regularly in your garden, you will chose a more hands-on method……………………….
Seasonal Schedule for Composting
The type of storage system or bin is the key to successfully using the materials each season provides. Collect and shred fallen leaves in the fall. No need to compost them as the best use for them now is as mulch for trees, shrubs, and garden beds. Excess leaves can be shredded and stored. Leaves from 100 bags ………………..
Troubleshooting Compost Problems
Making compost is really quite easy, but having too much of a certain material or letting the compost get too wet or too dry can cause problems.
Vermicomposting: Composting with Worms
Vermicomposting, or worm composting, is different than traditional composting.
Finished compost is dark brown, crumbly, and is earthy-smelling. Small pieces of leaves or other ingredients may be visible. If the compost contains many materials which are not broken down, it is only partly decomposed. This product can be used as a mulch, but adding partly decomposed compost to the soil …………………………
A great selection of Downloadable PDFs to print or view………….
Composting Bins & Tools
A great selection of composting tools for sale…..