According to the EPA, almost 30% of what we throw away – to the landfill – could and should be composted. For small families like ours, we put one 13-gallon bag of trash on the curb each week. In that bag you’ll find only items that cannot be recycled, reused, repurposed, or composted. Think of how much lighter your trash can will be each week if you compost your kitchen scraps, rather than toss them in the trash.
Simply working some rich, black compost into your beds will supplement the growth of your flower and vegetables. There’s no need to use any ‘miraculous growth’ fertilizers when you have organic, DIY compost, baby!
No longer will you need to trek over to your city compost facility, where who-knows-what was put into their pile. You won’t be purchasing compost from your garden center either. All you need will be right in your backyard.
For instance, take a peek inside our compost bin:
On the top, you’ll notice leaves and grass clippings and other brown stuff. You’d be surprised at all of the items that are in our bin.
You can compost:
- Aquatic weeds
- Coffee grounds
- Egg shells
- Evergreen needles
- Fruit peels and rinds
- Garden wastes
- Grass clippings
- Tea leaves
- Wood ash
- Wood chips
- Non-shiny newsprint (that is torn into small pieces)
Do NOT compost the following:
- Dairy products
- Cat, dog, or human manure
- Any meats (chicken, fish, beef, etc.)
- Lard or oils
- Peanut butter
- Salad dressings
- Diseased plant material
- Weeds that have gone to seed
Mostly, composting is a waiting game. After about 4-6 months, you will have dark black compost. All the maintenance needed is a bit of stirring, some watering on occasion, and sticking to the lists above.
Once you have that gorgeous compost, simply spread it on your garden. You can have your backyard chickens work it into the soil, or use a small tiller. We use both methods, as you can see:
While our backyard might not look vibrant and flourishing now, in a few short weeks there will be seedlings and tender spring plants all over those six beds. (After fencing the chickens out, of course.) Their nourishment coming from the rich compost that has been cookin’ for the last 4 months.