Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to Get Started with Composting

Composting is nature's way of breaking down and returning to the earth organic materials. By composting, you're helping to prevent pollution by avoiding contributing even more trash from rotting in landfills and instead, recycling naturally. Things otherwise known as trash decompose and return to an organic compound that can be used to enrich and fertilize your lawn and garden. Not only are you helping the environment by composting, you'll in turn have a more productive garden and reap the cost saving benefits from reducing the need to purchase harmful chemicals, potting soils, and additional water.

To properly compost, four ingredients need to be present - carbon, nitrogen, water, and oxygen. When composting there should be an approximate 2 to 1 ratio between carbon and nitrogen. The easiest way for me to keep carbons and nitrogens straight are to think of them in terms of colors - browns and greens. Carbon sources are usually brown and dry, while nitrogen tend towards things that grow and have a wet texture.

Now you're ready to start composting. But what can you compost? There are so many things that can be composted, it really does boggle the mind. Some items that can be composted are the following:

~ coffee grounds
~ vegetable and fruit scraps (including peelings, cores, and seeds)
~ tea leaves/bags
~ stale bread
~ eggshells
~ hay and straw
~ hair and fur
~ grass clippings
~ leaves
~ shredded paper with minimal ink
~ wood chips
~ yard trimmings (no diseased plants)
~ cardboard rolls
~ dryer and vacuum lint
~ shredded newspaper
~ cotton/wool rags
    Things that you should avoid adding to your compost pile are the following:

    ~ dairy products
    ~ meat, fish and poultry (including bones)
    ~ fats, greases, and oils
    ~ food sauces
    ~ sugary foods
    ~ ashes and charcoal
    ~ invasive weeds
    ~ any trimmings treated with chemical pesticides
    ~ treated wood
    ~  pet feces (manure is okay)
    ~ non-organics (plastic, metal, glass - recycle these)

      What are your thoughts on composting?  Are you inspired to start?

      Kelly is a Type A mom living in Austin.  She's a stay-at-home mom and blogs at Texas Type A Mom about family, food, reviews, and living a green life in Texas.


      1. Great tips! Composting is SO easy, I wish more people were doing it!

      2. Wonderful tips! I have never given it a thought, but maybe I should!

      3. Great tips and tutorial on how to get started composting

      4. We started composting a few years ago and kinda got lazy and stopped. I need to start again.

      5. When we had a garden a couple of years ago we started composting. But we've been pretty lax about it this year.

      6. I haven't done it yet, but my daughter has a compost bin and she really likes doing it!

      7. These are AWESOME tips! my husband loves composting. Hopefully next year we will have some very fertile soil for the garden :)

      8. nice tips.. i like composting, thanks.


      Thank you for visiting my blog! I love comments, so please say hello and tell me what is on your mind.

      Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...