Composting: Good For Your Garden, Good For Your Lawn, Good For You

Compost, from food scraps to soil.

By now, society as a whole understands the importance of recycling materials and how it can help the environment. However, most don’t realize that you can take your recycling efforts to a whole new level with composting. Composting your unwanted food scraps and yard trimmings is a great way to upcycle your waste and turn it into “Black Gold”. Composting might seem like a daunting task, but it really is quite simple. Here are some key factors you should consider when adding composting to your lifestyle.

Benefits of Compost In Your Garden

When properly cared for, your compost pile will turn into what farmers have coined “Black Gold”. Your finished product will be a soil-like substance, reminiscent of packaged potting soil. Compost is created from the decomposed organic materials you added in, such as yard trimmings and food scraps.  Compost helps soil retain moisture and is even proven to help certain vegetables withstand common diseases. Adding compost to your garden beds also provides your plants with the nutrients it needs to grow.

Why Is Composting Good For The Environment

While composting is beneficial to your garden, composting in general also helps the environment on a larger scale. Composting is benefits the environment because it averts the growth of methane gas. Methane gas- a harmful greenhouse gas is created when food & yard waste are hidden beneath piles of garbage at landfills. The materials decompose anaerobically (without oxygen) and produce the harmful gas. As it hinders the growth of methane, it also creates a nutrient-dense material that is perfect for growing a plethora of plants and crops.

The Do’s & Don’ts Of Composting

Before you start saving your food scraps and yard trimmings, you need to first figure out how you want to house your compost. There are great compost bins on the market, however starting a pile in the back of your yard works just as well. You can even container compost right in your house if space is limited. Once you have decided on where you will start your compost pile, you can begin adding materials to it.

You should follow the GREENS-BROWNS-WATER rule when adding materials to the pile. Always aim for at least 2 times more browns than greens. Don’t let this step get you overwhelmed. It is quite simple once you know what materials can and cannot be added.  Below, you will see some of the examples of these categories.

  • Greens: These materials provide the nitrogen and moisture. Examples include; fruits (no citrus), veggies, weeds, used coffee grounds and grass clippings
  • Browns: These materials act as the carbon source that the microorganisms need to feed on. Some examples include; small twigs, shredded paper, egg cartons, coffee filters, wood chips and leaves.
  • Water: Your compost should be slightly moist, like a sponge. It should not be soaking wet or muddy.

Once you have layered your materials and added the water, you should turn the mixture weekly with a shovel or pitchfork. When you turn your compost, you invigorate the mixture by letting in much needed oxygen. Remember to never add any meat or dairy to the compost. Also, stay away from anything treated with pesticides, chemically treated wood and any table food that has been prepared with oils, sauces or other greasy substances. These additions can hinder the growth of organic microorganisms and can attract pests.


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In addition to compost piles, there are other ways to compost directly into the ground. Cathole and trench composting are just some of the other ways you can turn your “kitchen sink” into Black Gold. Regardless of how you compost, you can transform your garden by recycling the very same materials it produces. You also help out the environment in the process. It’s a win-win.


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– Article written by Joy Adamonis – writingjoy.com

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