Organic Composting Is The Way To Go In Your Garden

Composting organic materials to create fertilizer for the garden is a great way to save money and eliminate synthetic fertilizers from your food. If you're thinking of starting an organic garden, or even if it's just that the thought of throwing out stuff that could be made into useful material bothers you, you need to learn about organic composting.

Composting is defined as the process of producing a soil amendment via the aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic material. For a compost pile to thrive, four things must be present: oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and water. Now, if one or two of these ingredients aren't present, the pile will probably still eventually break down. But it may smell, will take longer than compost created under optimal conditions, and may not contain as many of the soil nutrients as an optimal batch.

What sort of materials can be turned into compost? Just about anything that will rot. Grass cuttings, egg shells, paper, cardboard, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, old flowers, tea bags, sawdust, chicken or pigeon manure, hedge clippings, weeds, and much more. Some items will break down faster than others, so it's best to mix these different types up to get the compost going quickly but still achieve an end result with nice texture and smell. You'll learn what goes with what from experience, but a good book on composting will save you a lot of time and effort. A few things not to include are human or dog manure, cat litter, disposable diapers and magazines.

There are many different ways to create compost. Many people just make a pile on the ground, and throw the materials on the pile. Others like to use containers. With these two choices, the compost must be 'turned' or mixed up regularly. A solution to that is composters that use rotating bins or drums. With these, one usually opens a door, deposits the organic matter, and turns the drum a few times. They also should come back and turn it every so often between adding raw materials.

Another way of getting organic compost is to try vermicomposting, or a worm farm. This method uses basically the same raw materials as regular composting, but speeds up the production of the finished soil amendment by adding earthworms to the mix. The worms take the organic materials in, and when it comes out their other end, it's a great fertilizer called 'castings'. You might call it worm poop :-) However, it has no offensive smell, and can be produced by people without the room for other composting methods, even those who live in apartments. There are companies that even sell worm farms all made and ready to go - but it's no problem to build one yourself if you know how to use a hammer and saw.

With so many different ways to create compost, and the end result being such a great addition to anyone's garden, or even house plants, every gardener should give composting a try at least once. Additionally, composting organic materials will decrease the amount of stuff filling up our landfills. Unfortunately, organic materials that do go into landfills decompose very slowly due to the lack of oxygen. It's estimated that over eighty-five percent of the items taken to landfills are organic materials. Just think how great it would be for the environment and how much money could be saved by not having to build new landfills if we could compost just half of that.

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