How to Make Your Own Compost
Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 am
Composting has become quite popular with gardeners. It is also good for the environment and can end up saving you money. Getting started with composting isn’t difficult to do. Results will not be instantaneous but will pay off over time. Here are some things you need to know to make your own compost for your garden.
How to Make Compost
Compost is made of organic material. It includes certain kinds of food scraps and yard waste. Making compost will help keep that type of waste out of landfills. The trash that ends up in landfills takes up space and releases methane (which is a greenhouse gas).
Composting can save you money because you are making your own, organic, fertilizer for your garden. That means you won’t have to buy it. Putting compost into your garden helps the soil retain moisture. In short, this means you won’t need to use as much water to keep your garden growing as you would if you didn’t use compost. People who make their own compost are lowering their carbon footprint.
All composting requires three basic ingredients. “Browns” include dead leaves, branches, and twigs. “Greens” are grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds. The third ingredient is water.
Ideally, your compost should have an equal amount of “browns” and “greens”. You should alternate with one layer of “browns” then one layer of “greens”, and so on. The water helps to break down the organic matter.
Check with your local garden supply store to see if they sell composting bins. If not, you can make your own. Drill half-an-inch diameter holes into the bottom and sides of a plastic garbage can. Put a brick into the bottom of this garbage can. Surround the brick with a layer of wood chips or soil.
Place a second, smaller, garbage can inside the first one. Wrap insulation around the outer garbage can to keep the compost warm. Cover both cans with a lid. Your food scraps and yard waste are going to be placed inside the smaller garbage can.
Your compost bin should be placed in a dry, shady, spot. Add water to dry materials as they are added. Mix the entire compost to help maintain it. When the material at the bottom of the compost is dark and rich in color, it is ready to put in your garden. This can take between two months and two years.