Going green in the garden with compost

Going green is a direction in gardening many are trying. As people think of going green one topic is, “what do we use as a fertilizer?” How about Compost?

There are many store bought fertilizers that can be found garden centers and many are quite good. But most contain chemicals of some sort and these chemicals may have adverse affects on the soil, insects or water supply. So if you use a store bought fertilizer, purchase with care and do a little research on the chemicals in the product.

One easy way to fertilize your gardens and plants is with a homemade fertilizer. And one of the easiest fertilizers is a compost tea mix made from fresh compost you make in your own backyard.

Compost is made from the remains of yard and kitchen waste, which could include coffee or tea grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, leaves, weeds and grass clippings. Virtually any type of organic material can be added to your compost and used as a free source of fertilizer to nourish your plants. Many of the yard waste products can be picked up in larger supply through friends, farm and lawn landscaping centers.

I have a local business where I can pick up sawdust and leaf mold (old leaves that are broken down from age) any time I want for free. It’s just my cost for gasoline to and from.

To make your own compost you’ll need a compost bin, which can be purchased from most home improvement stores or you can make you own from a pail, wood pallets or hay bales.

Toss food scraps and other materials in your composting area, and in about a month, you’ll have a natural fertilizer that’s completely free of chemicals. Just remember the golden composting rule: no meat or grease. Both will attract mice or rats and make a smelly compost pile.

Tip: You can tell if your compost pile is healthy because it will not have an odor.

If you need your fertilizer in a hurry, or you have plants that need some extra attention, consider the 2-week speedy compost or vermicomposting.

Vermicomposting involves adding a supply of earthworms to your compost pile, which speeds up the composting process and creates extra nutrients for your garden. Plus you have the added advantage of worms that can be used in garden area, for fishing or sold.

Composting is a natural way to recycle yard and kitchen waste. It will reduce the amount of trash that ends up on your curb by up to 75 percent. This means less pollution added to landfills and the benefit of recycling material into healthy soil for gardens and fertilizer.

And according to the US Department of Agriculture, compost also offers a much wider array of nutrients than chemical fertilizers, and can absorb 10 to 1,000 times more water. This means healthier plants and less wasted water.

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