I enjoy gardening in warmer months and it saves my family a ton of money off our grocery bill. I used to haul 40lb bags of gardening soil to my garden to enrich my plants. Organic gardening soil is expensive, so I decided to make my own using kitchen scraps. It is actually pretty easy and efficient.
I started a compost pile in my yard with a compost bin that was left by the previous owners of our house. In the past we had used it for grass and yard clippings just to get them out of sight, but during this Fall I started to do some research and found the best way to enhance my gardening yield and add more nutrition to my food was to compost. Without getting too technical, you need an equal mix of browns and greens – carbon and nitrogen.
One of the best things for your compost is shredded leaves. Since I don’t have a leaf blower/shredder I raked them into a pile and ran over it with the lawnmower. I wound up with a giant pile of crushed leaves which I added to the bottom of the compost bin. In just days, they settled and I began to fill the bin with more kitchen scraps. Now I just add more scraps every time I have a full batch from the kitchen.
In addition to the kitchen and yard scraps, I also add shredded paper towel and toilet paper rolls to ease up on the size of my trash. Especially with dogs – you go through a lot of paper towels! Dryer lint is also great for composting. It adds carbon and fiber to the pile.
Why should you compost?
Here are my top reasons for composting and why you should do it too.
- It’s great for the garden.
- It adds nutrition to your veggies
- It will help your garden flourish
- It takes away the odors in your garbage bin.
- You wind up with less garbage in landfills
- It’s environmentally friendly and gives more nutrients back to the earth.
- It’s organic!
- It’s green!
How do you get started?
You don’t need to buy any fancy compost bins, honestly, you can just bury your food scraps in the yard if you want, eventually they will break down and become rich soil. If you just wanted to get a small round of chicken wire and place it somewhere in your yard – voila! compost bin! The only downside of this would be that it might attract rodents. Compost bins aren’t terribly expensive but you can also find a good deal on Amazon or eBay.com
If you do want to compost faster you could purchase a compost tumbler. I’ve had my eye on this one.
For more information, here is a link from one of my favorite gardeners, John Kohler, and how he composts. How to compost the easy way.
If everyone composted, can you imagine how rich our soil would be?
Can you imagine what we could give back to the earth?