How To Compost Food Scraps

 

Does your garbage runneth over? Consider composting. You can reduce the amount of waste going into the landfills and help the environment. You also get some great organic fertilizer for your garden. 

Compost is a collection of organic waste such as food and plants that decomposes over a few months and creates a very nutrient-rich soil. You only need 3 ingredients to compost.  

1. Water

2. Browns - twigs, leaves, bark (typically dry)

3. Greens - grass, vegetable waste, coffee grounds, fruit peels

Do not put any dairy, meat or bread in your compost because they will rot and attract pests. 

Do this outdoors. Select a large container with the bottom removed and place it in a grassy and shady part of your yard. You can buy a compost container from a home and garden store or you can make one yourself. 

Start by laying a few inches of twigs and leaves at the bottom to help aerate the pile. Then you can add the plant waste. The most important thing to remember is that you need equal amounts of nitrogen, carbon, water, and air. Nitrogen is in the greens and carbon is in the browns. Try to chop the material in smaller chunks so that it will decompose quicker. Avoid putting any processed foods in your compost bin because it will take a long time to decompose. Your compost will attract different organisms that will naturally break it down. 

Once you have it set up, it's easy to maintain. When you add new scraps, mix them into the center of the pile so that they aerate. If the pile is too dry, water it a little. If it's too hot you can cover it to maintain the right balance of moisture. 

After a few months, your compost should be ready to use. You will know when it turns a nice dark brown color and develops an earthy smell and is warm to the touch from all the microbes living inside. Now you can add it to your garden. Just make sure that the compost is an additive and not the sole source of soil. Too much of a good thing can ruin your plants. 

Happy composting! 


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