If you have never considered composting, now is a great time to start.
Composting is not difficult and you will be amazed at the wonderful compost you will have by planting season next spring.
There are a couple of decisions you need to make about composting.
First, where are you going to locate your compost? It needs to be conveniently located so added your daily items to the compost will not be difficult. However, you do not really want right by you back door.
Second, what kind of compost “container” are you going to use. I am using a 2 ft. high piece of 36″ diameter PVC pipe I got for free from a company that has a lot of PVC pipe waste with piece of scrap plywood on the top. There are many nice containers available to purchase or you can make your own. Four wood pallets stood on their sides to make a box work quite well and you can often get them for free. You can also dig a 6″-8″ deep trench through your garden and as a section is filled cover it will the extra dirt then move on to the next section.
What to compost? Well this is really just about the easiest part, at least for my family. At this time of year I have a bunch to compost since we are moving into baking season. You can compost any vegetable waste, coffee grinds along with the filter, tea bags, egg shells and fruit waste. DO NOT compost meat, bakery or dairy waste.
We have a big blue plastic bowl – not sure where it came from – that sits on the counter and as we prepare meals during the day, we toss things in it instead of the garbage disposal. Apple peels and cores, banana peels, potato peels, trimming off celery and lettuce, trimming off tomatoes, egg shells, my daily pot of coffee habit waste, my daughter’s tea habit waste. You get the idea. We also throw in that one tangerine that no one is going to eat because it has been in the fruit bowl too long. And we have been wasteful with purchase of too many produce items so we are having to do the mystery refrigerator clean out, we add any vegetable or fruit items which have spoiled. And we will soon be adding pumpkin guts and carved jack o’lanterns after the holiday.
We do not compost much of our yard waste. You can. There is no problem with leaves and grass clippings. If you add leaves, it is helpful if they have been mulched up first. My husband uses the mulching mower to rake the yard. It is a lazier approach but it seems to work well. We will compost the stuff in the mower bag. Be careful not to compost any weeds or invasive plants that you do not want growing next year.
How to compost? Well dump your waste in your container. Occasionally take a pitchfork or iron rake or even a shovel to turn the compost, mixing it up a bit. Nature does the rest!
And final extra bonus to composting besides less waste in the landfill and making your own free soil enrichment, you will wind up with some very nice earthworms for fishing in the summer!