Compost is one of the best ways to improve the growth of your garden. There are a lot of options when it comes to compost at garden centers, but for many gardeners, these products are not as effective as organic scraps. Certain pieces of kitchen waste, like food items, can be turned into effective compost that can transform your garden.
Composting is an easy way to improve the appearance and health of your garden, as it requires you to reuse items from your home. Not only will making your own compost help your plants grow, but it’ll also help you waste less food in your home and save you money in the long run.
When to Start Composting
You can create compost all year long. All you have to do is add to your compost bin whenever you have scraps of organic waste, whether that has come from large portions of food, foods that have gone out of date, or everyday kitchen waste.
Because you can compost all year long, many people find this composting method the best.
The best time of year to use your composter is during the summer. Composters perform better in the warmer months because the increasing temperatures cause the decomposition of aerobic organisms, such as fungi and bacteria. This turns waste material in your compost bins into a soil amendment.
The best time to get into composting kitchen scraps is in the spring. This is the best time of year to grow new plants and watch flowers bloom in your outdoor space. Every spring aids the process of composting – you can add old plants from last year’s garden into the bin.
As the summer and autumn come around, add new items to the compost bin, such as produce scraps from your home – and organic scraps. You can also add leaves, grass, and other green plants into the compost bins.
You can even compost scraps when the snow has started to fall during the colder months of the year, even though the colder temperatures can halt decomposition. But by making sure there’s a range of organic scraps in your compost bin, it’ll be ready to use once summer rolls around again.
What Type of Composting Bin is Best?
The best kind of composter bin will differ based on your garden size and preferred aesthetics. This is something that you’ll have to get used to seeing in your yard all year round. In your search for the best composting bin, you’ll see a range of products available to buy. If you’ve just started making compost or have a small garden, then a small plastic tub or storage container may be the best option.
Trash cans or plastic containers also make great DIY composters, as they hide the decaying matter while still creating effective compost. You’ll easily find this kind of bin on your search. Not to mention, they’re super affordable.
When it comes to setting up your composter, you’ll want to choose a location that will give you easy access to the compost without ruining the aesthetic of your garden. It should be at least 18 gallons deep to create enough compost for your outdoor space.
How to Care for your Composter
Once you’ve selected the right container or tumbler for your composter, you’ll need to search your garden for a good location. Lay down plastic bags or filters where you want the composter to be located. You can also cut off the bottom of the container using a saw or utility knife, or just drill holes around the outside of the bin. This will create a good airflow for the composter. If you’re worried about animals getting into your compost, you can secure the lid of the composting bin using a bungee cord or wire.
One of the best reasons for making your compost in a composting bin is the fact that it’s a low-maintenance system. Not only do you save on the price of fertilizers and expensive composts from professional suppliers, but maintaining your composter is pretty easy.
Regularly turn the pile to take care of your compost bin. This will help maintain optimal moisture (which you need for decomposition), ensuring that your composter is nutrient-rich and effective. You can also keep adding to the water level to ensure that it’s full enough to enhance decomposition.
With this regular care, you should have usable compost within one to six months, based on how much organic waste is used and how much compost is required in your outdoor space.
Allow for a time roughly once a week where you can tend to your composter. Turn the organic matter over using a shovel or garden fork to ensure that the compost on the bottom covers any new additions on the top. If you’re based in a climate that’s hot and dry, then you might need to water your composting pile as much as every other day to keep it moist.
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How to Make the Most out of Compositing
It’s important to note that, in general, only plant matter can be composted. Those relying on kitchen scraps need to ensure that only plant-based food scraps are going into your composting pile. Meat, dairy, and bones can contain harmful bacteria that shouldn’t be used in a composer. For the same reason, pet waste should also be kept away from composters.
Although decomposition of organic matter will occur no matter the circumstances, if you want to see the best results, regular maintenance is required. This will speed up the process – you’ll be able to use your composters sooner than you may have expected.
If regular maintenance is an issue, some storage containers can make this easier for you – such as a compost tumbler. It’s always recommended to keep composters in an easily accessible location outdoors, preferably in partial sun, to maintain the decomposition. This will offer the best results.