How to Make Your Own Compost
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How to Make Your Own Compost

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Making your own compost can help save you money on water and fertilizer for your garden.  It also helps reduce your carbon footprint!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.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.