But I figure that sometimes redundancy doesn't hurt, especially when we've just been handed this new, shiny 2012 that's just begging for new projects and resolutions. If you've already thought about giving composting a go, here's some information that could help you along the way. If you haven't, then maybe this will cause you to consider it? Who knows.
Anyway, I got this information off of the conveniently-named howtocompost.org. I'm sure the website (and the internet in general, really) is full of helpful tips, but I thought their "top ten tips" would be a neat way to get us off the ground.
- Gather all grass clippings and green yard waste but be sure to mix with the "brown" materials like leaves and shredded paper to add carbon. You will need both, but if you only add grass clippings your pile will compact and start to stink.
- Do not compost meats or pet droppings. Stick with food scraps and yard waste only.
- Avoid all pesticides and/or herbicide treated material.
- If you add weeds to your pile make sure your pile is good and hot. It should be steaming hot, not just warm otherwise it may not kill the seeds.
- Turn your pile as often as you can. Each time you turn it will speed up the process.
- Keep your compost damp but not wet. As you add material to your pile make sure that each layer is moist as it is added. During the summer your pile will dry out and the composting process will slow down.
- Got too much material to compost? Make a second or third pile. Stop adding material to a pile that is under way and start a new pile. This will ensure you get a chance to use the compost this season.
- Add compost to your garden a few weeks before you plant. Let the compost have a chance to work into the soil. Try to mix it in and let it sit before you plant.
- Worms and most bugs are okay. No need to go crazy trying to keep bugs out of your compost.
- Since the compost process works best at temperature between 120 and 150 degrees composting in the warmer months is easier to do, if this is your first attempt at composting best to try in the summer.
And there we have it! Good luck to you if you're trying out this new endeavour!