Nature at Home
Composting for Garden & Environment Composting for a Healthy Garden & Environment For many gardeners and farmers having rich compost is essential to growing healthy crops. Harnessing microorganisms to break down materials like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, leaves and grass clippings produces a rich material that can be used in yards and gardens. Compost can greatly improve the health of the soil, especially benefitting sandy or clay soils.

Composting has benefits beyond our gardens. Keeping kitchen waste out of landfills has a significant environmental benefit. It decreases the need for transportation and reduces the amount of methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide, that is produced as waste decomposes in landfills.

Home composting might seem like lots of work with many potential pitfalls, but it can be pretty simple. You can easily find detailed advice for successful compost outcomes, along with trouble-shooting suggestions. To make compost all you really need is a container, green material like food scraps, coffee grounds or grass clippings, and brown material like leaves, shredded cardboard or straw.

Containers for composting can be open bins, closed containers, rotating cylinders, or even small bins with red-wiggler worms. Adding brown and green matter, keeping the pile a little damp, and aerating it by turning or stirring, usually keeps the process going at a good rate. Compost piles can get hot and even steamy providing evidence that the microorganisms are doing the work of breaking down the material. Decomposition can happen even when the pile is cooler than usually recommended, it will just take longer.

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