Compost


Healthy soil means healthy plants. How do you keep your soil healthy?  Simple, use an organic fertilizer at the end and the beginning of each gardening season. Where can I get organic fertilizer? Easy enough, make your own from material already at hand.
I am talking about compost which is an excellent organic fertilizer
Now you can go out and buy compost, if you do choose an organic compost. However, a cheaper way to get compost is to make your own.
I would be amiss to mention using well-rotted manure to feed the soil. Sheep manure, purchased locally, is my choice when no other source of organic fertilizer is available.
Making your own compost is a straightforward process. All the material needed are right at hand. Food scrapes, not bone or meat, but vegetables are excellent compostable material.
You can also add grass clippings to the mix. Besides adding grass clipping to the compost pile leave the bulk of the clippings where they fall when you cut the lawn. This is a cheap and healthy way to feed the lawn.
Composting is an excellent way to recycle material that might otherwise end up being transported to a landfill. There is no need to add to the mountains of waste we already toss out.
Composting is how you can complete the growing cycle. You put compost on your vegetable garden to help the plants grow; you harvest the plants for your meals and then put the scarps in the compost which you then put on your garden to help the plants grow. This closed circuit approach reduces waste and produces healthy food for you and your family.

What can you compost? The following information provides you with a list of items that can go into your compost pile.

From Your Garden:

Leaves (chopped - to speed their breakdown)
Grass (not wet)
Plants & Weeds (without ripe seeds)
Old potting soil
Soft plant stems
From Your Kitchen.
Coffee grounds and filters
Fruit scraps
Vegetable trimmings
Crushed egg shells
Tea bags
Shredded paper.

The following items should not be placed into the compost:
Dairy products including cheese
Meat, fish (including sauces) and bones

Plastics
Metals
Fats and oils
Pet waste
A perfect mixture of material for the compost bin consists of ½ brown (carbon-based material) and ½ green (nitrogen-based) materials by weight.
Remember that a successful gardener builds soil and compost enables you to do that work.
There are a number of ways to keep the organic material as it turns to compost. For the average yard, if appearance is a priority, there are a number of options commercially available. Compost needs to be turned over, so keep this in mind when buying one.
This simplest way to make a compost pile is to dig a pit in the ground and add the material. This compost pit will need to be turned over on a regular basis. A pitch fork is a perfect tool to accomplish this task.
A better way is to build your own composter. There are plans on the Internet and in books available at the public library. Pick a plan that suits you and compost away.


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