How to start composting
Fitting a compost area into your garden
Making your own compost makes a lot of sense. It recycles kitchen and garden waste and saves you the effort of having to deal with stinky trash removal. A good compost heap or pile should have no bad smell at all. And your homemade compost is likely to be healthy and useful in the garden, saving from spending money and hauling big bags of compost or manure from the garden centers in springtime.
You can make your own compost heap or buy a container to make the job easier. The question then becomes how to choose the right composter for your needs.
Building your own compost pile is the least expensive and it can be done with a hole in the ground or an area surrounded by fencing. An open compost pile is good if you have the space for it and if you are willing to do the heavy work of regularly forking it over. In dry climates it will need to be kept moist. And open compost heaps can often attract rodents that like to make nests in the material.
If you buy a compost bin to help with the job, there are a number of things to keep in mind. You will want to buy the right size for the amount of material you will be composting, you will need to decide where the compost area will be, and you will need to select a style.
Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:
Will this be a composter for the garden or only the kitchen? Kitchen scraps may best be dealt with using worm composters that can be used indoors.
Do you have a lot of garden material that will need plenty of compost space? If you have a sizable garden, you may find that two or three composters will best suit your needs. Use one for fresh compost, another for material that is composting and an optional third for material that is done and ready to spread.
Where will your compost bin be located? Some models require sun while others need to be put in the shade. You also want to place your composting unit(s) so they are convenient to use, but not too close to the house just in case wildlife is attracted.
Composting is a great way to recycle organic material. It is a building block for sustainable landscaping and gardening. Bins can be good gifts for friends with gardens. I just gave myself the gift of two bins for my backyard so I won’t have to deal with the work and pests attracted by the open compost heaps I’ve been using for years.
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