Another way to avoid pesticide use and protect the environment is to create your own compost, it’s a great way to recycle. Compost (also known as “black gold”) is a mixture of organic decaying matter and can include many different items such as yard trimmings, food wastes, manures, tea bags, egg shells, coffee grounds and filter, newspapers, paper plates, napkins, paper towels, etc. Some components cannot be added though which include dairy products, oil, pet or human waste, treated wood products or plastic/synthetic products. Bulking agents, such as wood chips, are then added to the decaying matter to create acceleration in the break down of these materials. Once the mixture sits and matures, a black/dark brown, earthy smelling substance will form called humus.
With a home compost bin you can dispose of organic garbage, while also keeping the nutrients needed to help other plants grow. It provides great chemical benefits to the soil by improving the pH level. Compost regulates the water levels to create a perfect balance for other plant life. This organic matter lowers plant disease and pests, controls the spread of weeds, reduces landfill debris and provides a higher yield in your garden. Plants that decompose in the forest naturally provide for the plants that are still alive – this is the fundamental workings of compost.
Your Backyard Compost
Starting a backyard compost is rather easy and another small step toward making the world around you and your family a better place. Commercially made compost bins are available at stores for purchase but a homemade container (3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft) will also work. Once the materials are gathered, there are four components that must be remembered when creating the compost bin.
- “Brown” materials should make up 75% of the compost bin and are high in carbon (C) and contain substances such as dead leaves, twigs, and branches.
- “Green” materials should include the remaining 25% of the bin and are high in nitrogen (N) which should include such items as vegetable and fruit scraps, untreated grass clippings and coffee grounds.
- The final two ingredients to the compost bin are water (H2O) and Oxygen (O2). All the matter should be in small pieces, or chopped into smaller pieces.
The next step is to create brown and green layers, 4-6 in. thick. While adding the layers, remember to continuously turn the bin to allow oxygen to get though and gradually add water so the layers are moist. The mixture should generate heat. Your compost bin is now ready, just turn it every 5-7 days. When the materials look dark brown/black, smell earthy and stop producing heat, the compost is ready to use. Remember to tend to your compost bin and remember to keeo track of what you put inside.
|Compost||Do NOT Compost|