Well, free fertilizer, of course! Composting is a great way that you can enrich your garden and help lessen the impact of methane gas from being released back into the atmosphere from landfills.
How Do I Compost?
It's easier than you think! Just get a small airtight plastic container to keep in your kitchen to put food scraps in. When this gets full, transfer the contents to a bigger bin outside. You can set up a store-bought compost bin or build one yourself out of inexpensive materials, such as wood pallets chicken wire or an old trash bin.
What Food Scraps Can Go In the Compost Bin?
Here's what you CAN put in your kitchen bin:
- Fruit & Vegetable Peels
- Rinsed Out Egg Shells
- Tea Bags (Remove Staples)
- Used Coffee Filter & Coffee Grounds
- Greasy Pizza Boxes (Torn into pieces)
- Napkins, Paper Towels and Paper Bags
And here's what you CANNOT put in:
- Produce PLU Stickers (take them off!)
- Human or Pet Waste
- Meat, Bones, and Fish
- Weeds with Roots
- Anything Plastic
Green and brown are nature's colors, as well as the perfect plan for your compost pile. You need to layer "green" and "brown" materials. Greens are your kitchen scraps from your kitchen bin, along with plant clippings. These green items contain high levels of nitrogen. The browns are carbon-rich materials such as leaves, sticks, wood shavings and hay - along with most types of paper and cardboard. Remember its a 3:1 ratio - 3 part browns for every 1 part green. Add some water. The best compost pile will have about the same amount of moisture as a wrung-out sponge.
Use a pitchfork or shovel to turn over the compost regularly to oxygenate the pile. This helps naturally present bacteria, fungi or mold break down the food scraps without creating any odor.
Is It Ready Yet?
Okay, here's the bad part - you have to wait about 6 months for the compost to break down. You will know its ready when it looks like soil or coffee grounds. Then use the compost to fertilize your garden. Be careful - once you see the results of your fertilized garden - composting becomes addictive!