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How to Compost Effectively

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compost,composters,composting bin,Landscaping,lawn care

Composting is easy, but composting well takes a little effort, and with a bit of extra know-how you can greatly improve the quality of your compost and the time it takes to make it.

If you’re in no rush and your composting activity is more about having a place to toss organic matter rather than producing rich compost, then the easiest thing to do is to just throw it in a pile and let nature do its thing. But, if you want good compost you can help the process along with just a few tweaks.

Composters

Composters (bins and tumblers) come in several different sizes and styles, but the main difference between them is that one kind simply keeps compost contained and the other allows you to tumble it. Tumbling or mixing compost helps keep the mixture aerated and will speed up the composting process.

There are several other benefits to using bins or tumblers: You can compost year-round, keep vermin out of your mix and cut down on the odor, which your neighbors will probably appreciate.

Compost Ingredients

Air, water, heat and organic matter are your main compost ingredients, and a balanced mix will produce better compost more quickly.

When it comes to organic matter, you can think of it in terms of “brown” (carbon) and “green” (nitrogen). The brown stuff is dry, dead material like leaf litter, dead branches and old clippings, and the green stuff is made of fruit and vegetable matter as well as fresh clippings. The optimum balance is around 30x carbon to 1x nitrogen. So, for every 30 pounds of brown material you’ll want to add one pound of green material.

You can also include newspapers, cardboard, dryer lint for added carbon, while tea leaves, coffee grounds and table scraps provide more nitrogen.

Compost Mixing

Once you’ve established a good mix you’ll want to add some water, but not too much; moist but not wet is a good rule of thumb. Once you’ve created these conditions, aerobic microorganisms will begin to break down the material and create heat. The heat will further speed the composting process.

You’ll want to turn your compost every few weeks and water it occasionally if it’s not getting rain. You can also opt to cultivate a “no-turn” compost pile, but you have to layer in coarser material like straw when you build your pile.

Compost Completion

Tending and turning your pile in an optimum mix should create compost in as little as four months, but it may take up to six months if left to its own devices.

ATGStores.com hopes these tips help you create excellent compost more efficiently.

The "Ecomposter Tumbler" from STC is part cool lawn ornament and part composter, and can be rolled around in the yard or spun on its base to tumble the compost inside. 

This simple compost bin by Dura-Trel is crafted in the USA using UV-resistant vinyl PVC and features easy-to-remove front slats for compost retrieval.

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