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How to Compost

Published on: 2/26/2014 10:59 AM
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BASIC COMPOSTING

Thanks to friendly bugs and worms, composting is as easy as "1-2-3".

 

Browns, Greens, Air, and Water are the "big four" that will keep every compost pile happy. Just follow the basics:

 

1. CHOP materials if you want them to break down more quickly.
2. MIX "browns" (dry, woody materials) with "greens" (moist, green materials).
3. MAINTAIN air & water balance by keeping compost as moist as a wrung-out sponge.

 

To add fruit and vegetable trimmings to basic compost bins, first be sure your bin is rodent resistant--it needs a floor, a lid, and no holes bigger than 1/4". Ideally, the whole bin is enclosed in 1/4" wire mesh. Second, always bury food into the compost pile (exposed food can attract pests). No more than 1/3 of your pile should be fruit and vegetable trimmings.

 

This Method:

 

* some time & effort
* requires 3' X 3' yard space
* makes small to large amounts of finished compost

 

UNDERGROUND COMPOSTING

 

Simply bury fruit and vegetable trimmings at least one foot under the soil surface as often as you like. This means a 6" layer of compostables requires an 18" deep hole. Dig your hole in a different place each time. You can plant shallow-rooted plants (like lettuce) immediately. One to three months later you can plant deeper-rooted plants (like most shrubs and trees), or bury more compostables in the same place.

 

This Method:
* takes minimal time and effort
* requires some yard space
* does not require harvesting--buried trimmings enrich soil directly
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