An increasing number of homeowners are exploring what steps they can take in and around their homes to be friendlier to the environment. The implementation of sustainable practices in outdoor living spaces is an easy target – and in many cases, easy to implement. One such practice is compositing. Compositing involves recycling natural materials from your yard and home into nutrients for your soil. This natural additive is so valuable in improving the health of soil that it is commonly referred to as “black gold.”  Here are some needs to know to help you determine if composting is right for you.  

Composting is Easy

Composting is, at its core, controlled decay. Composters use yard waste like grass clippings and leaf debris and food waste like coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable skins. The scraps you add to your compost pile or bin will eventually break down over time with or without your input so it’s very difficult to fail at composting. When you compost, you speed up the breakdown of materials by keeping the pile adequately moist, turning it about every thirty days and adding fresh scraps.

The biggest challenge in composting is remembering what scraps aren’t suited for residential composting but fortunately, that list is fairly short. The predominant no-nos are meat and dairy and pet waste.

Composting Doesn’t Need a lot of Equipment or Space

Home gardeners use a variety of ways to manage their compost pile. The most basic is simply a pile in an unused corner of the yard. This requires no equipment and can be started immediately. On the other end of the spectrum are elaborate multi-bin compost setups with hinged lids and removable fronts. There are also commercially made composters that can contain your compost as it cooks and others on pivots that require only occasional turns to flip the compost inside. You can devote as much or as little space and money to your compost as you have available.

Composting has a Great Payoff

Every home gardener wishes he or she could always have a ready supply of fresh, rich soil amendments. For composters, that wish becomes a reality. Once the compost has broken down, there is a readily-available source of nutrition and there’s an added bonus of an incredibly satisfying feeling of digging into soil that you helped to create!

Important Considerations Before you Start Composting

While composting is fairly simple and requires few resources, it is not for everyone. Before jumping into the process, consider these questions:

  • Do I have room to compost?
  • Do I have a place where the compost won’t create problems for me or my neighbors as it “cooks?”
  • Do I have time for very basic maintenance, like turning the pile every 30 days and wetting it down in hot weather?
  • Do I have a use for the finished compost?

If you can comfortably answer these questions and you have a yearning to enhance your eco-friendly practices, you are ready to start composting. Before long, it’s very likely that you and your plants will be glad you did! 

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