Yes - Please Compost! You'll Make Black Gold!
It's free, eco friendly and your plants will think you are giving them champagne and caviar!
Adding compost improves soil fertility and encourages root development in plants. Compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration, and it increases the soil's water-holding capacity.
Making your own compost from from a mixture of green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon rich) ingredients like recycling kitchen waste (freeze until ready to add to compost bin to prevent decomposing odors and fruit flies), garden trimmings, and leaves is an economical way to enrich the soil and create a beautiful garden.
SEE BELOW FOR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS IN COMPOST RECIPE
Many options - homemade (see photo) or commercial.
Compost bins include: 50 gallon plastic drums, rolling containers with handles to tumble; large outdoor trash cans, etc.
Key Factors in selecting container and outdoor site:
1. Must have a cover or a tarp to prevent critters or bug invasion.
2. Locate near source for water - compost cooks faster when damp, not soggy.
3. Do not store bin in full sunlight - ingredients actually produce heat,
4. Compost must be turned once a week. We use a short handle pitch fork.
COMPOST RECIPE BELOW
Continue to next section to learn about GREEN and BROWN Ingredients
Collect kitchen scraps and other "green" items and place in compost bin. (see next section for "green" compost list)
Add brown compost materials (see next section for "brown" compost list).
Repeat with another green and brown layer always ending with brown compost to prevent odors that will attract bugs and animals.
Add 2 shovels full of garden soil and 1 handful of fertilizer (10-10-10).
Worms welcomed! Worms consume 4-6 pounds of food scraps per week!
Lightly water the compost pile with a garden hose. You want the compost materials damp but not soggy.
Don't forget to cover bin or pile.
Mix and Add to Keep Compost Cookiin'
Mix the compost layers once a week either by rotating a tumbling compost bin or mixing the materials with a garden fork.
Keep compost moist, not soggy.
Add additional layers of green and brown as available, always ending with brown on top.
The compost will "cook" and may produce steam.
Depending on the season, the compost could be ready in 6 weeks to 3 months.
Hot weather helps it decompose quicker.
Feed your plants
Compost is ready when it has transformed into rich black soil. It will not burn your plants.
Instead of tilling the compost into your garden bed, make it spread farther by mixing it with soil in individual planting holes, then add the plant.
BROWN Compostable Waste:
Always add more brown than green compost materials, ending with brown on top layer to prevent odor and flies.
Dead leaves, shredded (but no walnut leaves)
Vacuum dirt or floor crumbs
Cold fireplace wood ashes
Untreated wood sawdust
Black & white newspaper shredded
Used paper napkins
Used paper towels
Unwaxed cardboard (must rip into small pieces)
Paper bag (must shred)
Cereal Box (must shred)
Unwaxed used paper plates
Nut Shells (except walnut shells)
GREEN Compostable Waste
Grass clippings that have not been chemically treated
Fruit & vegetable scraps (keep frozen to avoid smell until time to take to compost
Coffee grounds and filters
Tea bags and loose tea
Stale cereal or stale potato chips
Stale bread, tortillas and pitas
Hair and fur
Leftover cooked rice or pasta
Crushed egg shells
CAUTION: Do NOT Add to Compost
Meat or Fish (bones or flesh scraps)
Sunflowers or sunflower plants
Weeds or Diseased plants
Domestic animal waste
Meats & Dairy
Human waste (diapers)
Coal or Charcoal ashes
Grease or Cooking oil
Glue, latex, rubber
Pottery or Ceramics
Walnuts or walnut leaves