As winter comes to a halt and spring is ushered in, many of your neighbors will begin bringing their yards back to life. You’ll see each homeowner work a different angle. Some will aerate their yard to help the grass breathe, while others will rake it out, breaking up the bad roots and ridding the yard of dead grass. Still, others will fertilize, feeding the ground, hoping to watch it turn green.
Other techniques include planting grass seed on overly rundown spots, water cycles, and of course, mowing to encourage growth and thickness. There is nothing wrong with these techniques and remedies. In fact, you may employ some of them yourself; however, there are other ways to recharge and rejuvenate the soil. One such idea stems from easy home composting. It’s natural, organic, inexpensive, and efficient.
How Do You Begin Composting?
Composting is pretty simple. There are various methods and ways. Essentially, you’re saving:
- peels and skins from the vegetables that you eat at home
- coffee grounds with the filters
- dryer lint
- wood chips
- cardboard rolls
- shredded newspaper
These are items that can be broken down and “cured” so that they provide future nourishment to your plants, grass, or whatever you’re trying to grow.
There are some items that you never want to add to your compost pile. These include things like dairy products, pet waste, meat or fish scraps, oils, diseased plants or plants with bugs, etc. All of these items do not break down as easily and some of them can infect your yard with bacteria. You want to avoid these at all costs.
How Will You Store Your Compost?
You need to select the type of container you want to store your compost in. Some people use a container they already have. You can order a small composting bin that sits on the counter in your kitchen. Hardware stores sell large composting bins that sit outside. Others build composting containers. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you’re able to turn the compost.
What Else Do I Add?
You’ll want to add grass clippings, straw, leaves from the trees in your yard, and pretty much any material that can be broken down into this bin. You’ll also want to spread some soil over the pile. Additionally, the pile needs some moisture. You don’t want the compost to be soaked, but adding some water is helpful. This is important because if you get it too moist, your compost will begin molding.
What Makes the Compost Work?
Remember that micro and macro-organisms are doing most of the work. However, in order to do this, they need a few essentials: air, food, and moisture. It’s crucial that you follow the steps and guidelines.
The sun is also vital to the process. This pile needs to sit in the heat for several days up to a week, and then, you’ll want to stir it or turn it (this is where a purchased composting bin comes in handy to keep things nice and tidy). If you only need a small amount of compost, don’t continue to add food scraps and paper products to your pile. However, if you’re planning to continually add fresh compost to your yard and your plants, you’ll need to continue feeding your pile with clippings and kitchen scraps, turning the pile to add air as it heats. The beauty here is that the compost pile can keep going and adding nutrients to your yard all season long. Essentially, the compost will keep recharging and rejuvenating your soil.
What if My Compost Pile Smells Bad?
Your compost pile should be covered or closed with a lid. There will be some smell associated with it; however, it should not full-on stink. If it does begin to smell moldy or like mildew, it’s likely that you have too much moisture in the pile. You’ll need to dry it by stirring it more regularly and heating it up.
It’s Ready to Use!
You’ll know that your compost is ready to use, because the materials will be broken down, but also because the compost will be dark, a bit crumbly, and somewhat damp. It will not smell. This process typically takes 4-6 weeks to achieve. Once you reach that point, you can begin using this in your yard with plants, trees, flowers, and grass.
Home composting is easy if you can exercise a little bit of patience. It has the capability to recharge and rejuvenate your yard if you let it. Of course, you’ll still need to water and mow your yard. Perhaps, you’ll need to add some grass seed; however, by composting, you may be able to limit fertilizers or at least minimize the amount needed for your yard. This gives you a natural and organic approach that is also cost-effective.