Yard trimmings and food scraps make up nearly 1/6 of what the average household throws into the garbage. Change your throwaway habits and opt to reuse your perishable organics for your lawn and garden. Additional benefits to composting include:
- * Improves the quality and fertility of your soil*
- * Conserves natural resources
- * Reduces weeds
- * Reduces run-off of fertilizer and pesticides into storm drains
Like any recipe, you'll get the best results if you use the right mix of ingredients to make your compost. The key materials are nitrogen-rich "greens," carbon-rich "browns," water, and air. All of these are essential, and easy to mix together for quality compost.
How to Backyard Compost
A backyard compost is perfect for any household with a yard. It is a simple practice that requires little effort and few materials. There are several methods of composting including: placing materials in open piles, burying materials in trenches or enclosing materials in bins.
Here are the Six Easy Steps of Backyard Composting:
2. Gather Your Materials
- * Waste is classified as either brown or green material. To begin, use equal amounts of green and brown materials and chop them into 1-inch pieces (the smaller the pieces, the faster they decompose).
3. Dump Your Materials Evenly Into Compost Bin
- * Start with approximately 1 cubic yard of yard waste materials. Shred yard waste to less that 1" in size. Use equal amounts of green and brown materials and mix thoroughly.
4. Turn or Stir Your Compost Every 7 to 10 Days
- * Stir the bin and add more water every 7 to 10 days. Remember to keep the bin full by adding fresh material regularly.
5. Keep Your Compost Hot
- * Keep your compost between 120 to 140 degrees to help the materials break down properly
6. Harvest Your Compost
- * Your compost is ready to use when it's dark brown, crumbly and smells like fresh-turned earth, generally within 2-6 months. You also should not be able to identify anything that was used to make it. To harvest your compost, remove the finished compost from the bottom of the bin (the finished material naturally collects there) and screen it using a simple 3/8" size screen.
Master Your Compost Skills