Thursday, May 5, 2011

6 Composting Tips

I've been trying to get the hang of composting for a little while and I've learned some tricks along the way.
Ian thought he'd taste the new dirt. It's not very good!

1. Don't use an indoor compost bin. The idea of reusing the same bin over and over without giving it a good scrub everyday makes me queasy. Instead, I keep a little dish (or a big one if I have a lot of scrapes) next to my work area and dump it in the compost bin 1-3 times a day. The dish goes into the sink and gets washed with all it's relatives.

2. Its ok to throw food away. When I first started composting I used to salvage all food scraps. Then we had a raccoon visitor, so I stopped composting for a while. Nowadays, I basically just use fresh fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grinds and tea bags. All leftovers still hit the trash can. I even take breaks from composting. This week I threw away scraps for about 4 days. Then I picked up where I left off. The world still moves on!

3. Easy ways to keep your bin moist. I have two "tricks" for keeping my compost moist. Sometimes I fill my bowl (from tip #1) with water before I add it to the bin. Other times, I take the lid off on rainy days and let the rain do its work. See example:

4. Keep a stash of fall leaves. I gathered a lawn bag full of dead leaves in the spring. :) When there is a thin layer of food scraps in my compost bin, I cover them with a thin layer of the leaves. Compost bins are supposed to have layers of green and brown, so this makes that step much easier.

5. Have the kids help. They think its a fun chore! Even this tip can't be used all the time though! Notice where my daughter's face it? Well, we currently have lots of fruit flies in the bin (because the food scraps weren't fully covered with leaves!). When a child opens the bin you don't want them to have such an unpleasant surprise! Thankfully this isn't the case all of the time!
6. DON'T compost weeds. If you weed your garden, do not add the weeds to your compost bin. If you do, then you will have weeds growing in the dirt that you took the time to cultivate!

Composting gives me a little peace of mind. I feel like I'm adding just a little less to the landfills. I also look forward to a nice bounty of dirt... maybe one day I'll even grow something! What a concept for such a black thumb as myself!

I am linking this post to Smockity Frock's "How does your garden grow?"


Katey said...

Great tips thank you!

Phoebe @ GettingFreedom said...

Compost is a gardener's best friend! My kids love helping with the compost bin.

Thanks for linking up to Frugal Gardening! Hope you join us next week, too!