Composting 101

Yes, color is coming back into our lives. Spring and warmer temperatures are bringing life back to the soil. If you’ve ever considered composting, this is the perfect time. If you’ve yearned to produce rich dark humus for your soil, it isn’t as hard as you might think. Compost (or humus) is simply the result of layering organic materials with a touch of soil and being patient. Once the process is complete, you can’t “top” it for soil building, enriching your lawn, or feeding your plants.

To get started, you’ll need a kitchen container (covered, please) to put your composting materials in plus a compost bin (purchased or made). Most organic and paper products can be composted with some exceptions (read the entire article for details). The trick is to attract those wonderful little earthmovers, earthworms, so be careful in adding onions or garlic as they’re thought to be natural repellants.

Once you have a nice collection of organic material in your composting bin, cold composting is the simplest method. Simply wait. It will take about a year, but the result will be nicely decomposed material. If you’re a little more adventurous, you can try hot composting, a more hands-on approach using nitrogen, carbon, air, and water to speed the process of decay. A third method is to use redworms, purchasing them online or at a garden supplier.

Happy composting!

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