Go Green!!! Recipe for Cultivating Compost

Looking for an easy, inexpensive and ecological way to grow the best garden ever? Turn kitchen scraps and garden waste into black gold.

Compost is a nutrient-rich soil-like material that helps the environment as it helps plants. When used as mulch compost will improve the soil, deter disease, prevent weeds, conserve water, and fertilize plants. Compost happens when the right ratio of nitrogen and carbon-rich organic waste is mixed with soil, water, and air.  How it gets from garbage to gold may seem like magic, but the breakdown of organic waste is due to billions of soil-dwelling critters and good microbes that include bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and other beneficial creatures.

Begin by finding yard space at least three feet square with some protection from the mid-day sun. Your compost heap can be a simple pile or mounded into a ready-made or custom-built bin.

Start the bottom layer with small branches or twigs. Next add alternating layers of carbon (brown) and nitrogen (green) material with a thin layer of soil between them. Top off the pile with a four to six-inch layer of soil.  Turn the pile as new layers are added. Water as needed to keep the compost-in-progress moist, ensuring a good environment for microbes to multiply.  The result is compost in as little as two months.

Keep it fresh…If a compost heap begins to smell sweeten it by adding more dry carbon material and turning the pile more frequently.

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