Many Northern gardeners are nearing the time for their first frost. Time to clean up your garden removing old summer crops to ready your garden for it’s winter rest. Composting is an excellent way to dispose of all of your old garden plants and a good place to dump most of your kitchen food waste.
After your compost pile sets all winter, doing it’s job of converting plant waste into good healthy soil building compost, next spring you can till this into your garden soil improving both garden soil texture and adding much needed nutrients to your garden soil.
Composting a crash course: it’s easy, it’s a cheap way to enrich your soil whether it be flower and shrub beds or your garden plot.
Anything that has ever been alive can be composted. All that is needed is a place that is twice as large as your compost pile. If your very limited on space, you may want to opt for building or buying a barrel composter. I recommend a location near the back of your yard. Under the best conditions your going to have insect visitors at or near your compost pile.
Never try to compost any type of meat. Even when covered with compost materials meat eaters like dogs, cats, rats, wolf, coyotes, bears, skunks and other undesirables can smell the meat and will dig it out of your compost pile.
What can be composted? Anything that has ever been alive. Plant materials are most often what people compost but you can also compost all household garbage, vegetables, fruit, coffee and tea grounds, egg shells.
Don’t add meat and meat products to include fish, dairy products and dog droppings to your compost pile.
**Hint: Keep one of those plastic store bags handy in your kitchen to use as a compost bag and dump it into your compost pile once everyday or so. Then dispose of the bag as house hold waste.
United States EPA Wastes – Resource Conservation – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Composting web site. You are paying for it so please use it as a good reference site. Composting will save you a lot of money buying fertilizers and your garden will be chemical free. Plants will grow better, faster and produce more while improving your garden soil year after year.
University of Missouri Extension has a very useful publication fact sheet covering:
Selecting a compost method
# Wire-mesh holding unit
# Snow-fence holding unit
# Wood and wire three-bin turning unit
# Worm composting bin
# Heap composting
As well as information on constructing your composting unit.
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Happy Fall gardening
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