Have you begun thinking about a spring garden? There’s no better time than now to begin a garden! The action put in will reap benefits for years to come but the most important part, is to start.
While there are many ways to start gardening, in this article I will specifically address the what, why, and how’s of composting.
What is composting
Composting is the act of turning organic matter (food and yard scrap) into a nutrient rich soil that will feed the garden for years to come.
The mix of dead (carbon) and alive (nitrogen) is important. The goal is to achieve a 60/40 mix. Good carbon sources are dry leaves, dry wood chips, and paper. Good nitrogen sources come from fruit and veggie scraps, used tea or coffee grounds.
How do I Compost?
Find a location to suit your Compost space. This should be located close to the home, ideally near a door for ease of access. In the colder months you’ll appreciate the proximity. Find a container that suits your location, this could be an old garbage can or a handmade enclosure. There are many plans online to build something like this.
Begin by adding scraps! Any food scraps are great, with the exception of meat and dairy products. While they are compostable they will slow down your compost process. Broccoli, Apple skins, potatoes, carrots, onion, lettuce, grass clippings, coffee grounds, dead flowers, hair, and even nail clippings are compostable! Throw it all in there. Then add your carbon sources, I prefer leaves! Make sure to check in often with the Compost to ensure your 60/40 mix is consistent. This will encourage the most optimal compost break down.
Another important aspect of the compost is to incorporate oxygen. The best way to do this is to give it a stir or shake at least twice a week. On small scales one could use a shovel and larger scales one could use a tractor.
Why should I Compost?
Composting is a great way to renew food scraps into usable soil! This soil is so rich in nutrients it will work wonders in your garden. It’s easy to get started on a small scale and work your way to a bigger set up as you go. If you have kids they will love it and be shocked when the fruit peels they threw in last summer turn into soil come spring. Compost will complete the cycle of life on your garden and in turn reward you, the gardener.
Check out my Compost flyer! Prints available in the store!