18 Mar '14

Composting 101

Why should I compost
Why Compost?
When waste is not composted, it will end up in a landfill or incinerator, neither of which is environmentally-friendly or economical. Due to a lack of oxygen, landfill waste breaks down slowly and releases methane gas and acidic leachate, both of which are bad for the environment.
Why should I compost

  • Around one-third of landfill space is filled with organic waste from yards and kitchens, materials that could have been composted
  • It is estimated garden compost could divert 700 pounds of waste per household per year from the landfill
  • Organic materials break down much faster when composted than they do in landfills, which lack sufficient oxygen for proper decomposition
  • Garden compost is a nutrient-rich natural soil amendment, eliminating the need for fertilizer in home gardens and potted plants
  • Garden compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration
  • Composting is cheap, easy, and good for the environment (greenwala.com)

How to Compost Organic Materials Into Nutritious Plant Soil, Potting Mix or Mulch

Garden Compost as Plant Soil
To use garden compost in your plant soil, it is imperative that the organic material has completed all of the composting stages before being introduced into the plant soil. Garden compost should be added to plant soil before you begin planting your plants. Apply 1-3 inches of garden compost to the surface of your plant soil and work it down into the soil about 3-4 inches.

Garden Compost as Potting Mix
Once again, organic material must have completed all stages of composting before it is added to the potting mix. Blend your garden compost with your potting mix before adding your plants. Since most potted plants need to be able to drain excess water, make sure the garden compost is mixed thoroughly to allow for drainage.

Garden Compost as Mulch
Possibly the most highly used method of creating compost, mulching is the easiest and fastest way to incorporate composting in your green lifestyle. Simply add the 3-4″ of garden compost to your yard and let it naturally seep into your lawn. You do not need to incorporate the garden compost into the soil. Re-apply your garden compost as needed.

Next step, learn what items to use to make compost.


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