Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Composting

We've been so busy outside that I haven't had time to do much on the computer besides my usual time wasting on Facebook (*blush*)

My seedlings are still doing quite well- I've had a few die off here and there, but most of them are fairing nicely. We still haven't picked out the perfect spot for our garden bed, but we've got plenty of time to get that taken care of.

Last weekend Ry built us a composting bin in hopes of brewing up some nice fertile soil for our garden-to-be.
Green and Ry ceremoniously adding the first orange peel

I have a soft spot for botany (and a fair portion of a biology degree), so I was pleased to learn that there is actually a good amount of science behind the table scraps rotting away in the corner of our yard. Here is what I've gleaned so far:

When composting, you want to keep a carbon (brown, dry yard waste) to nitrogen (green, plant material, fruits and veggies) of roughly 30:1 - but close enough is good enough in a home composting situation. It will all break down eventually!

There are many different ways to construct your bin (or you can buy one for like $100)

Add material in brown and green layers

You want to keep your pile moist but not totally soaking, like a wrung out sponge

Covering it is also a good idea- heat speeds up the process

It is a good idea to turn your pile every time something new is added - this oxygenates the pile, speeding up the breakdown process - Once your pile is as big as you intend to make it, it is a good idea to turn it every three days or so

Finished compost can be ready in as little as 3 months or can take up to a year

Here is an awesome resource if you are thinking about composting!

3 comments:

Lauren Simone said...

ah, i love composting! and once you start, it feels weird to be somewhere else and throw your left over/gone bad food/scraps in the garbage...it feels nice to continue the cycle of things and know that it's going into the earth again...just like the cycle of gardening is so great...giving to the earth and nourishing it, while letting the fruits and vegetables of your labor come back to nourish and give to you...ah, farming!

Pink Dandy Chatter said...

I have always wanted to compost. Thank you for the tips..I wouldn't have known how to start.

Found you on Etsy Forums
Here's my blog...
http://pinkdandychatter.blogspot.com

Eco-Friendly Freckles said...

Best of luck with your compost! My husband and I have been creating a compost for our organic-heirloom vegetable garden. We have also added our miniature horse manure to our garden bed to create a nice natural fertilizer. ;-)