Starting a Compost in Your Garden

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    Are you ready to start a compost program?

    Anyone who has a garden should be composting. It is very easy to do and the benef its arenumerous when it comes to enhancing the soil and producing quality f ruits, f lowers and vegetables.

    Compost bins in the garden.

    By def init ion, compost is the humus like material thatresults f rom the decomposition of organic matter. When we grow and remove healthy crops in ourgardens, we also remove many of the nutrients in thesoil. For sustainable agriculture to thrive, even in asmall backyard garden, we must replace what we havetaken out of the soil. Good compost consists ofelements that are essential to productive gardening,such as nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium,calcium, sulf ur, etc.

    The most basic type of composting is simply a pile established near your garden. There are twocomponents required to start your pile. So called, brown materials laden with Carbon such as f allleaves, dried grass clippings, dead f lowers, old corn stalks and even shredded newspaper make uppart one. Part two consists of green materials loaded with Nitrogen like vegetable kitchen waste(excluding meat), animal manures f rom chickens, horses, cows, etc. and f resh grass clippings.

    Start your pile by laying at least six inches of brown material on the bottom. On top of this add a f ewinches of the green materiel. A good ratio of brown to green is about 4:1. Keep this brown/greenlayering going until your pile is about f our f eet high and make sure you keep the whole thing moist. The pile should be in a sunny location as the heat will accelerate the decomposition process. Theonly real work involved in developing a productive pile is that you will have to turn it every couple ofweeks with a f ork in order to aerate it. Dont be surprised if a lit t le steam escapes as you turn thecompost over. This is a good thing which occurs when the raw materials begin to decompose.

    Fresh ready to use compost.

    If you are diligent about maintaining your pile it willproduce the humus like product we are looking f or in af ew weeks. It will also look neat and be odor f ree. Ifyou have limited space or are concerned aboutappearance, you should look into composting binswhich are available at most garden centers and do ityourself stores. These keep the materials containedand some actually are mounted on rotating wheelsmaking aeration very easy. Simply rotate the drum f ullof decomposing materiel a half a turn every week andwhat was on the top is now on the bottom.

  • Get into composting and you will be doing the environment and your garden a lot of good. Locallygrown, sustainable and organicits the way to go!

    Don't f orget plants f or your beautif ul new compost f rom

    Starting a Compost in Your Garden