The Beginner Gardeners Guide to Composting

While we love to plant and admire our beautiful results in our gardens, we sometimes forget about our soil.  As plants grow, their soil loses nutrients and needs to be replenished. An easy way and natural way to rejuvenate your soil is through composting. It’s simple to start and you most likely have everything you need already! Composting can lead to more fulsome and enjoyable plants, vegetables, and flowers.

First, you should decide how you would like to start your compost pile. There are many options, such as building your own bin, or purchasing one made of plastic or a metal, such as steel. Choosing your container also means choosing your amount of space. For those with a small yard, or if you want to start on a smaller scale, the Joraform Composter or the Kitchen Composter would be great options. The Joraform Composter is great for an average size family and can sit outside, while the Kitchen Composter fits perfectly on your counter.

 

Second, after selecting your container, it’s time to gather your items. You will want to layer organic items such as yard/garden clippings, dry leaves, kitchen scraps (no meat, oil/grease, or dairy), shredded paper, coffee grounds, and even eggshells. Making sure that your materials are shredded or chopped as fine/small as possible will help the decomposition process. Refrain from adding any type of meat/bone, diseased plant materials, sawdust, or weeds that go to seed (dandelions).

Patience is another thing you will need. After you combine all your items, add some soil and a little water, mix it all together, and wait! You can add some compost booster to speed up the process, or even add manure (not from cats or dogs). Over time (several months or up to 1 year depending on the size) the materials will decompose and turn into a natural plant fertilizer called “humus”.

You will need to mix and turn the materials every week to aid in decomposition and ensure proper aeration. Keep your pile covered or your bin shut to keep pests out.  After your pile has completed composing, you can add it to your plants by mixing it with their soil! This will replenish the nutrients in your soil and your plants will be happy and healthy.

Happy Gardening! For more information and product help, visit Park Seed!

 

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About Rachael Caddell

Originally from Charleston, SC, Rachael grew up among gorgeous gardens and her mother's green thumb. Now in the midst of growing her own garden, Rachael loves to find new creative ideas for her plants. She is a writer and manages social media for Park Seed. In her free time she likes to cook, watch movies, and travel.

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