One of the best ways to reinvigorate your soil is by adding compost. Compost is the ultimate form of recycling; food waste is broken down into nutrients that crops use to grow more food. According to eartheasy.com, Americans generate about 120 million tons of trash annually. Most of this trash, 57% ends up in municipal landfills. Composting can take approximately 30% of household waste away from the landfills.
Composting is easier than you might think, and it can be done in any situation from commercial farm to an apartment in the city. The recipe for compost is simple, Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = Compost. There are things that cannot be composted. This includes meat, bones, diseased plants, pet manure, banana peels and orange rinds. Banana peels and orange rinds may contain pesticide residue and should be discarded. There are several different methods for composting from the super basic, to expert. If you start small, you can become a compost guru in no time at all!
The Pile – simply take scraps add them to a pile in the corner of your yard and let Mother Nature do her thing. You should turn the pile every so often to incorporate new material.
Homemade Bin – If having a pile in the yard isn’t your thing, a simple bin will dress up the appearance, but not change the process.
Store bought bin – Not a DIY ninja? Do worry, all of the major retailers offer commercially made composters. The bin uses the same technology as the previous options, just in a different container.
Spinning bin – Looking to speed up the process? Having a spinning bin allows you to turn the pile more often and mix new material in the pile more frequently.
Hot composter – This is a jump in technology the bin has a heating element. Adding heat to the equation speeds up decomposition. It also increases the price of the container.
Microbe Composter – This solution is great for small space or apartment composting. Adding a microbe such as Bokashi will create nutrient rich compost in a few weeks. You can take a regular trash bin, add organic material and Bokashi and it will compost right before your eyes, with no garbage odor.
Vermi (worm) composter – This is the most advanced composting method around. Worms live in the compost pile and digest the material making a super-rich organic material. If you are thinking of going with a worm there is a high rate of first time failure. But, the good news is, it just dirt and you can try again!
Keeping your soil healthy and happy will make for healthy and happy plants! Happy planting!