Composting consists of organic wastes from your yard or house. These materials are placed in a pile or container to decompose. Decomposition slowly begins and is caused by millions of microscopic organisms that are always eating and then recycling the things in your compost pile. This process produces an organic fertilizer that is very valuable to your yard.
Tips and Trick to Improve Composting:
- Quick decomposition requires both grass clippings for nitrogen and "brown" materials for carbon. If the piles only contain grass clippings, it will only compact and start to sink in to the ground.
- Don't include fats, pet droppings and animal products as they attract pests.
- Shredded newspaper and plain white computer paper are great to add to your compost pile.
- Compost is ready to use when it looks and smells like rich, dark soil. You should not be able to recognize anything that you placed in the pile.
- Coffee grinds attract worms, and thus is great for compost piles.
- Adding ashes to your compost pile very sparingly because they contain alkaline which will have an effect on the pH levels of the pile. Acidic materials, including pine needles and oak leaves, are great for composting.
- Avoid adding plants which have been treated with herbicides or pesticides to your compost pile. This includes weeds and lawn clippings.
- Seaweed and algae are great for composting. Be sure that you wash any salt off them before placing them in your compost heap.
- When compost is done is should be about half the volume it was when you started, but will be much denser.
- During the winter months, keep your compost pile in a black, plastic bin in the direct sunlight. You can also use bales of hay to add to the insulation.
- Compost piles must retain moisture so be sure to check to make sure that each new layer you add is moist. The top of the pile should also stay moist.
The article originally appeared in "Merchant Circle" by Melissa Paolucci