Creating your own organic compost soil can be a very fun and satisfying project for everyone, including the whole family! It’s a great way to get some Vitamin D and spend quality time outside. Your garden will THRIVE from composting. It's a healthier, less expensive, and sustainable alternative over many garden and potting soil products. Composting is such a simple process that utilizes your table & kitchen scraps to make an incredible, organic SUPER soil for your garden and plants. There are several different techniques to use, so finding out which one suits you shouldn’t be all that difficult. By creating your own organic compost soil for vegetables and flowers, our greatest friend Mother Nature, will reap many benefits from your contributions. The biggest benefit of all is eliminating the need of harvesting peat moss bogs, which are very important for filtering through co2 emissions, and they're being destroyed at alarming rates. You’ll also eliminate the need for other resources used in garden soils- such as; composted pine bark, perlite and vermiculite.
The first step is to determine which method you’ll want to use for your organic compost and where you want to place the composting and garden areas. The size of the operation is all up to you, but you want to make sure the area is; easy to access, has proper runoff, and a good amount of sunlight. The two most popular methods for the actual composting process are simple.
1) One way is to simply go from table scraps to soil, bypassing any containers. This is usually used for smaller scale composters. Take all your kitchen scraps; such as fish bones, chicken bones, egg shells, coffee grounds, banana peels, etc. Place them in a plastic bag or designated container inside the house and every few days take the scraps to the compost pile, dig a couple feet down and dump the matter inside. After dumping everything into the soil, stir the compost soil up to spread all the nutrients around (this helps aid the decomposition of the organic materials). You’ll want to stir and mix the soil at least once a week to spread the nutrients around!
2) The 2nd method is using a composting container outside that holds all the organic matter! You can have one that is on the ground surface or one that is up on a stand (to prevent critters and pest from scavenging). You can purchase containers made specifically for composting or create your own. Creating your own is a cheaper alternative and you’ll have many more size options. To make your own, you can purchase a trash can, and simply poke a few holes in the lid and on the sides. This will allow the materials to breathe and breakdown properly.
You can’t go wrong with either of these options and they’re so simple you don’t need a professional landscaper to assist you. If you decide to use a container, make sure to fill the container close to the top and stir once a week to keep the process moving efficiently. Depending on how much you want the organic matter to breakdown, you’ll let the material sit there for 3-6 months. This is enough time to start the decomposition process before you dump everything in the ground and start the next step of organic composting. This is a good process for larger scale operations and allows for a really thorough system to be put in place. No matter which method you use, the entire process takes about a year for everything to chemically breakdown and be ready for use.
Now that we’ve established what type of set up we’ll use AND the location of our compost piles, we can talk about what type of leftovers we can use. The basics are any scraps you might have from cooking such as egg shells, coffee grounds, the leftovers from any fruits and veggies, and more. Then there are the not so basic leftovers like; grass clippings, leaves, spent vegetable crops, fish and chicken carcasses. What a lot of people don’t know, is that you can ALSO use recycled newspaper that’s been shredded, as a sustainable substitute for peat moss. To create a solid base, you can use starters such as leaves from the lawn or coffee grounds. The cool thing about using coffee grounds is many places like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, bag up their used coffee grounds for people to come grab for FREE!
When you're officially ready to start your composting pile, you should allow 8-12 months for everything to break down and decompose before using anything in the gardens. Since it takes so long, you may want to consider two separate piles! This way you’ll always have soil ready to use for crops and gardens. The first year’s crops will be bountiful and very rewarding. Although, for crops to be at peak performance, it may take several generations of crops to cycle through. BUT once that happens, your gardens yield and health will increase tremendously. The best part of it all, IT’S 100%FREE!! You’ll save so much money each year by eliminating the purchase of bagged soil and at the same time you’ll save many of earth’s natural resources from destruction.
By choosing to start an organic compost you’ll save money, upgrade the health and quality of your gardens, get involved in a self-efficient lifestyle, and the most important of all, make a positive environmental impact. Most landscape materials use peat moss, which is being harvested at an alarming rate. Peat moss cycles through 30-33% all known carbon emissions. That’s the number one contributor on this planet, including our forest. We all need to do our part in trying to protect them, one bag at a time. There are other peat moss alternatives to use if you still choose to purchase bagged and loose products. Get out there and start your organic compost garden today!! For more helpful tips for DIY projects or to seek our professional services, please visit our website and give us a call today.
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