Compost is organic material that can be applied to soil to aid plants’ growth. Food scraps and yard debris account for more than 30% of what we throw away, but they might be composted instead. Composting these green garden materials keeps them out of landfills, where they take up space and emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
Three key elements are required for all composting:
Browns – Dead leaves, branches, and twigs are examples of brown materials.
Greens – Grass clippings, vegetable trash, fruit leftovers, and coffee grounds are all examples of greens.
Water – For compost formation, have the proper amount of water, greens, and browns.
In your compost pile, evenly spread browns and greens. Layers of varying sizes of organic components should also be alternated. The brown materials offer carbon, the green materials provide nitrogen, and the water helps break down the organic matter by providing moisture.
What Should You Compost?
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Cotton and Wool Rugs
- Fireplace ashes
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grass clippings
- Hair and fur
- Shredded newspaper
- Yard trimmings
- Improves soil quality by retaining moisture and minimizing plant diseases and pests.
- Reduces the use of chemical fertilizers.
- Promotes the growth of helpful bacteria and fungi that decompose organic debris to produce humus, a nutrient-rich substance.
- Lowers your carbon footprint by reducing methane emissions from landfills.
Composting Techniques at Home
There are numerous landscape methods for creating a compost pile; we have included the following for your convenience. Pitchforks, square-point shovels or machetes, and water hoses with a spray head are also useful equipment. Regular mixing or stirring of the compost and adding water will aid in its preservation.
- For your compost pile or bin, choose a dry, shady location near a water source.
- As you collect brown and green materials, make sure the larger portions are chopped or shredded.
- As dry items are added, moisten them.
- Once your compost pile is up and running, add grass clippings and green garbage, and bury fruit and vegetable waste under 10 inches of compost material.
- Optional: To keep the compost moist, cover it with a tarp. Your compost is ready to use when the material at the bottom is dark and rich in color. This can take anywhere from two months to two years to complete.
Steps for Composting Household Waste
Did you know that a family of four may reduce their trash from 1000 kilograms to less than 100 kg per year by segregating, recycling, and composting? Here are steps to compost household waste:
Choose a Composting Location
Composting can be done anywhere, including kitchen, balcony, patio, roof, tabletop, or sink. While outside is the greatest area to start composting, you may also begin the process inside your home.
Sort Your Garbage
Start collecting edible kitchen waste in one container, such as vegetable peels, fruit peels, little amounts of discarded cooked food, etc. Fill a second container with dry garbage, such as dried leaves, sawdust, newspaper bits, packing materials, etc. Close both containers tightly to keep pests, flies, and worms out.
Build Your Composting Bin
Choose a container, ranging from a bucket to a regular trash can or a flower pot. Drill 4-5 holes around the container at various levels to allow air to flow freely. Place a newspaper or tray underneath your container to prevent spills. Soil should be layered at the bottom of the container.
Begin The Composting Procedure
Fill the bin with food waste and wet waste at different levels to balance the dry and wet waste. If you add one cup of food waste, such as vegetables or fruits, you should add one cup of dry garbage, such as dry leaves, sawdust, or newspaper scraps. Remember to replenish the soil once a week. You can speed up the process by adding partially composted dirt to your compost.
Dos and Don’ts
When compost stinks due to an imbalance of waste in the bin, add more newspaper components or extra holes. If the compost becomes too dry, add some water. Use a rake or gardening tools to give the waste pile brief turns every few days.
This will give sufficient aeration for the trash to break down. Once the dry, dark brown waste-turned-compost is ready, start utilizing it in garden areas or potted plants within 2-3 months.
You may use your lovely “black gold” in various ways once your compost has decomposed sufficiently. Many people use completed compost as mulch in their gardens, spreading it over the soil to feed the plants and keep weeds at bay. It can also improve the nutrient content of your garden soil by mixing it in before planting or seeding.
No gardens outside? Don’t be concerned! Your houseplants will also appreciate compost. Repot your indoor plants by mixing compost into your favorite potting soil. They’ll love the nutrient-dense growth medium.
Blossom & Broom is a home and garden design firm that can assist you with your edible landscaping. We also include home decor, kitchen, housekeeping, and gardening information. Grow your food right now with your green garden!