Friday, July 23, 2010

Composting is Easy!

I totally heart gardening. I am not a professional but dabble in what I think I know. One thing I do know that has been beneficial to my garden is composting. Nature-made composting happens on the forest floor and makes rich damp soil. Look how great things grow there! That is what we want to achieve with composting at home. Putting the nutrients back into your garden will benefit future plants and hopefully increase your yeild. It also gives you comfort in knowing what fertilizers were used to make your food - and composting makes them all natural and organic. Sow a little...reap a lot!

What got me started was a small pile like this... You can find a list of things to compost HERE! Never use meat, dairy products or pet droppings. My hard clay soil smiles when I bring out egg shells(that I have washed out with hot water). It loosens the soil for easier tilling and lets oxygen into the soil.

How I got started was very simple... I dug several holes throughout the garden in late fall after harvesting was complete. I left the dirt mound close to the hole. During the course of winter, I took my scraps to the holes and buried them. In the spring, what little was left of my kitchen rubbish was tilled in before spring planting. Then our city provided minimal cost. I use this faithfully now. I place it in the garden and move it every 3rd year.

Seven years ago I moved the compost bin, and the following spring had a peach tree growing where the bin had been sitting. SO from the compost pile I reaped a beautiful tree that will give me fruit for a third year. I would say that is a nice benefit that keeps giving back to my family.

I layer my compost with a balance of grass and leaves, a little added dirt and kitchen rubbish. I take the lid off when I water or when rain is predicted. I stir it frequently with the rake or shovel(if your compost bin tumbles it does this work for you). The secret is to stir frequently! At the end of the growing season and the garden has been harvested, I will open the door on the bottom, dig out my lovely and nourished soil and till it in.

A compost bin doesn't have to take up much space. Here is Lorie's compost bin. A simple Rubbermaid tote.Poke several holes to let in air and let heat escape. Take a look inside and see the bugs at work. Click on the photo to enlarge if you are truly interested in the bugs. The soil is beautiful. This can be kept under or behind a shrub out of sight of neighbors, but where it will get some sun. The heat of the compost helps to break down the layers and create dark, rich soil. If it begins stinking...then you need to water and stir more frequently. This is my indication I haven't added enough brown (List to follow) to keep the mixture balanced between carbon(browns) and nitrogen(greens).

If you have space for a larger compost can be made similar to this one.
This is AmberLou's bin. She has adequate space for a larger bin. It is simply made with pallets or could be done with the sides of wooden crates or fencing. Make good use of what you have - this makes the cost minimal.

Get the kids involved. There are many websites that assist in getting started. Some discuss benefits of worms - what boy wouldn't love having "pet" worms?

Composting doesn't take much time and has so many benefits to your family. I included a link below to composting indoors. It is so easy it can be done with a #10 can.

Happy Gardening

Some resources to browse concerning composting...
Indoor composting

List of Browns and Greens from composting 101
Browns = High Carbon
Ashes, wood
Cardboard, shredded
Corn stalks
Fruit waste
Newspaper, shredded
Peanut shells
Peat moss
Pine needles
Stems and twigs, shredded
Vegetable stalks
Greens = High Nitrogen
Coffee grounds
Food waste
Garden waste
Grass clippings
Hedge clippings
Hops, used
Vegetable scraps


I have linked to...
The Finer Things in Life
It's A Blog Party!
I heart naptime with Chocolate Sundaes
A Few of My Favorite Things
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Smart and Trendy Moms
The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday
Lit and Laundry
Tatertots and Jello
A Southern Daydreamer

It's a Blog Party


  1. I really like your blog! I do composting and i love it!
    Great post! happy Friday! And come follow me back and say hi!

  2. This is great info! I want a compost area really bad. (If you can want something like that really bad?) We live in the city and not much place to hide one, but you have some great ideas here. Thanks for linking up to We Can Do It Cheaper

  3. I love to compost! We put our vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and egg shells in a Rachael Ray's garage bowl. We have to empty it in the compost bin once or twice a day. I signed up as a new follower from Social Parade Follow.

  4. Thanks for all the great composting info! I really wanted to buy a composted this year, but I think I'm going to wait until my boys are little older so they can help out with it.

  5. This is a great resource! We bought a composter a few years ago at Sam's Club. It's a good investment, but we've just never fully committed to using it properly. Hopefully this gives us the push we need. I love how you simplified it to browns vs. greens--makes it much easier to understand!

  6. Thanks so much for linking up to Finished for Friday. I used to be much better about composting. You're inspiring me to start it up again.

  7. That was a good little lesson for us all! And it really all does make a difference if we do our part! Have a wonderful Outdoor Wednesday! Sherri

  8. This is a very educational post...we do compost but I forget to take my household scraps out to it...It is in the far corner next to the garden..I like the idea of a tub closer to the kitchen...Thanks for the tip about the egg shells. I knew you could compost them but you gave me the idea to save them up for Spring when I begin digging in my flower beds again...The soil is virgin here, mostly red clay so is hard to work with.
    Mama Bear

  9. Very educational & informative! Thanks for sharing!

  10. my mom and dad composted for years and they always have a super nice garden.

  11. Very cool. I'm glad you commented on my post and led me here. I'll have to see if our city sells these. It would be wonderful if they did, but I've not heard of them selling composting bins. I'll look into it tomorrow. My Home Depot bucket is getting pretty full now.
    Also, thanks for the info on the greens and browns, It's a great list. Finally, I bet you will have the best tasting peaches around!


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