The Proper Way to Garden Compost

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Stay Green With These Garden Compost Tips

Composting is beneficial for gardens because it feeds the soil, giving it the necessary nutrients to become stronger and ward off diseases. Studies show that composting helps reduce methane gases which are 120 times more harmful to the environment than carbon monoxide. Since the average American household throws away a quarter of its food every year, starting garden compost is a win-win for everybody.

When you first start to build garden compost, it may seem like a big undertaking, but it isn’t as complicated as some think. We’ve put together a list of seven garden compost tips to help simplify the new journey.

Cover Food Scraps

By covering food scraps with other composting elements such as leaves, you can prevent smell, as well as keep unwanted critters away. It is best to layer garden compost starting with leaves and creating an area for food scraps in the center that can be covered with more leaves. Many composters collect food scraps in an airtight or composting container on their kitchen counter until enough is collected to create a full layer.

Diversify the Compost

Too much of any one thing isn’t good for garden compost. It is best to have a diversified mix of greens, browns, and good scraps to produce nutrient-rich compost that is beneficial for garden soil.

Save Leaves

While it is tempting to discard leaves quickly after raking, they are a valuable asset for garden composts. Store extra leaves in garbage bags in a shed to use in future compost layers. This assures you won’t run out in summer months when dried leaves are nonexistent.

Skip the Grass Clippings

Too much grass can be harmful to the progress of your compost pile because it blocks the flow of oxygen and because it is high in nitrogen which causes an unwanted stench as it breaks down.

Water Garden Compost

Watering a pile of dead leaves, flowers, and food scraps may seem odd, but weekly watering during dry spells helps things decompose. It should have the consistency of a damp sponge. Any more water can cause the pile to rot instead of break down.

It’s a Year-Round Effort

Garden composting is a year-round effort and requires attention during the winter months as well. By adding to it during the winter months, you have a better chance of having valuable compost you can use in early spring when it is time to begin planting.

Stir the Pile Weekly

Make sure the bottom layers are getting the necessary oxygen they need to cook properly by stirring the compost weekly. To make sure you mix it at the best time, use a thermometer to check the center temperature which should read 130-150 degrees Fahrenheit.

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