Your Summer Composting Project

Your Summer Composting Project
  • Opening Intro -

    Summer home projects should be easy, reflecting the slower pace of life we all prefer to take on most sunny, sultry afternoons.

    Nevertheless, yard care never ceases unless you're in a severe drought and your lawn has turned dormant.

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You know that you’ve wanted to come up with a better idea for discarding yard waste and that better idea can be found in developing a compost pile where grass, leaves and certain discarded household waste can be converted into rich soil for your garden. As far as summer projects go, a compost heap is one of the easiest jobs you’ll ever do, one that will benefit your gardens by next year.

1. Find a location.

Convenience is one consideration for finding a place to locate your compost pile. You’ll want to move it far enough away from the home to prevent odor from reaching your house. Locating it by a garage or shed may be the most sensible, giving your bin some protection while still making it accessible.

2. Choose a bin.

All types of compost bins are sold. You can even build your own, a three-part open bin that will allow you to stage your compost accordingly. Consider a closed container if you’re new to composting as this will be easier for you to manage and it won’t seem so overwhelming.

3. Understand your ingredients.

There are so many things that can be placed in a compost pile — the key is mixing these ingredients to help everything break down. Household items such as tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, overripe fruit and vegetables, citrus rinds and shredded newspaper will do. Yard waste includes grass clippings, leaves, dead flowers and plant trimmings. Keep meat, dairy products, coal ashes and pesticide-treated plants out of your compost, however.

4. Fill it up.

Begin placing items in your compost bin as soon as your bin is ready. Ideally, you’ll follow Cornell Waste Management Institute guidelines and have 30 parts of carbon to 1 part of nitrogen, at least to start. Leaves, straw, mixed paper and newspaper are high in carbon. Vegetable scraps, manure, grass clippings and coffee grounds are high in oxygen. Have plenty of the former and very little of the latter.

5. Give it a stir.

Temperatures inside of a compost bin will quickly top 90 degrees and on hot days push past 140 degrees. This means that your compost is “baking” and turning to dirt faster. Add water if the bin is dry and stir it on occasion if you want to use it within a few months. If you don’t stir the pile weekly, it will still turn into dirt in about six to 12 months.

How to Make Compost the Easy Way:

6. Wait for your prize.

Avoid impatience when working with compost. Compost takes longer to break down if outside temperatures are lower. However, the long days and heat of summer can give move things along quickly, yielding a fresh pile of garden-ready dirt that you didn’t have to pick up at the garden center.

7. Never give up.

Composting is an on-going project, one that keeps on giving provided you keep on contributing. Once you are in the habit of composting, you’ll find that the benefits certainly outweigh the hassles.

Final Thoughts

You can create a compost bin out of material your already own. Welded wire mesh or other fencing can be used as well as lumber scraps that can be placed on brackets and secured.

Home Improvement reference:

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Last update on 2019-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Categories: Garden Maintenance

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".