Grow Organic Vegetables – it’s Easy to Start Composting!
If the thought of starting a compost heap overwhelms you—don’t let it. It’s actually easy to start and maintain your own compost. You’ll cut back on your garbage and you will have healthy soil to use for your garden!
First, buy or build a simple compost holder, a few feet wide and several feet high. Remember, the pile needs some sunlight so it heats up. Loosely dig the earth underneath the bin is so that it is not compacted. This gives the earthworms a chance to get into the compost pile. (You can also buy worms) If you expect to have trouble with raccoons or other critters, purchasing a compost bin with a locked lid is probably the best solution.
Begin adding your compost material. Here is a list of what you can include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Leftover food (not meat!)
- Tea leaves and coffee grounds
- Garden cuttings
- Lawn clippings
- Manure from horses, goats, rabbits, cows, or chickens, (not from dogs or cats)
Layer and mix-up the material so there is no more than 3-4 inches of the same material per layer. Chopping material first will help speed up the compost process. Do not press down the layers, keep the air flowing.
(Tip: If you cannot take your kitchen scraps out to the pile immediately, freeze them so they don’t stink up your kitchen.)
Once the heap is full, cover it with a tarp if you do not have a tight-fitting lid. Every couple of weeks, turn the pile with a pitchfork or shovel. When the compost has turned to rich soil, use it on your garden beds in fall or spring. Your flowers and vegetables will thank you! And so will the rest of Mother Earth!