Composting is one of the fastest, greenest ways of dealing with kitchen, garden, and yard scraps and trimmings. Instead of throwing all those little green bits away, they’re transformed into something incredibly useful and healthy. Composting is easy, even in smaller spaces, and you can make it a DIY project, or buy a premade bin specifically for compost.
In the kitchen, look for a compost pail with a snug-fitting lid, space for a charcoal filter, and ventilation holes around the filter. To keep things tidy and easy, use compostable liners as well. Compost pails don’t have to look like an ugly bucket you hide under your sink. A sleek, stainless steel pail will work in almost any home, or try one made from eco-friendly, and biodegradable bamboo fibers.
Now that you’ve got the how figured out, a little time and even less effort will take care of actually producing compost. Then it’s time to decide on the what. As in, what to do with all that compost.
Spread a layer of compost around your plants to help retain moisture, deter weeds, and offer additional nutrients without chemical fertilizers.
- Soil amendment
Work compost into soil before planting and you’re adding vital nutrients. It’s also the best solution for sandy or clay soils, the addition of organic matter helps keep them more balanced and better for plants. Working compost into soil also helps prevent heavy compaction.
- Potting mix
Compost can work wonders in potted plants as well. Keep your compost to 1/3 or less of the total soil volume for most plants. Compost can be nitrogen heavy, and not all plants like that.
- Use as fertilizer
Either sprinkle on the soil, or work a small amount of compost into the top layer to offer both garden and container plants a valuable dose of nutrients. You can also make compost “tea” by steeping finished compost in water, then watering your plants with the results.
- Erosion control
You can create compost berms to help control erosion in your yard. If the area is very steep, create a compost berm near the top of the grade, and another closer to the bottom, then fill the middle with a deep layer of compost and mulch to help trap rainwater and prevent runoff and erosion.
- Line pathways
If you have a lot of compost at your disposal, it’s an ideal “filler” for around stepping stones or along pathways. It discourages weeds and feed the soil, plus, it’s perfect if you later decide to plant herbs or other greenery along your pathway.
- Plant directly in it
Some plants (like tomato) will thrive in straight compost, as any veteran gardener can tell you after they’ve had “volunteers” spring up in their compost piles. Make sure your compost is completely finished and contains no potentially dangerous ingredients if you are planting a food crop.
Want to know more about compost? Check out these links:
Right now, you can save 10% when you buy the compost pail as a set…