Composting For The First Time
By Todd Attoe
Composting is nature's process of recycling decomposed organic materials into to established soil known as compost. Anything that was once living will decompose. A composting is an acceleration of the same process nature uses. The process of natural decomposition is very important to one type of waste disposal. Composting is a form of waste disposal where organic waste decomposes naturally under oxygen-rich conditions. Although all waste will eventually decompose, only certain waste items are considered compostable and should a to compost containers. Food waste, such as banana peels, coffee grinds, and eggshells, are great items to compost. Adding meat products to compost should be avoided because as it decomposes, it will attract The material animals and will smell very badly. In addition to reducing waste, the process of composting also creates a usable product. The final compost, humus, is nutrient-rich and can be used to amend poor soils and fertilize gardens instead of using chemical fertilizers. The added compost also helps the soil retain water and therefore can improve growing conditions.
Autumn is also considered by some as the best time to start composting as the tidying and cleaning up of the garden in readiness for winter provides plenty of material, and hopefully, the bin will have time get into its stride before the worst of the cold weather.
Autumn is recommended to apply compost as a mulch it can be applied both to established beds and around specimen plants. Compost can also be used as a mulch to top dress the lawn in the autumn when people are less likely to worry about the look of the lawn.
Whether starting a new bin or operating an existing one getting it decomposing well throughout the autumn and early winter, if the weather is kind, will help to provide a good crop of compost in the spring.
To help speed the composting process it is a good idea to increase the surface area of waste added to the bin in the autumn, even if it is not usually shredded for the rest of the year. If the material is soft, and a shredder is not available, it can be put on the lawn and run over with the lawnmower.
As there is likely to be a lot of material available at this time of year if it is not practical to start a second bin, store it in a covered pile. It is important to keep the pile dry, as dry material will heat up in a bin more quickly than wet. The material being saved in the autumn for use as bulking agent in food composting e.g. sawdust or composted wood chip used should also be kept dry. (I keep mine in plastic dustbins)
September is the time to compost the dead (or dying) summer flowers, material from the last of the summer vegetables, including the plants themselves beans, artichokes, tomatoes and peppers and those cropping during the autumn squashes, leeks, and main crop potatoes.
In October, any remaining summer crops can be composted along with potato and beet tops. Any remaining bean or pea vines can be chopped up into little pieces for composting. Be careful not to put any plant with diseases into your compost, this will carry over to the next growing season.
Conventional Compost Bin: used for cold composting, such as the plastic bins provided under local Council schemes and wide range of bins available for purchase on the internet including wooden bins Wooden Compost bins different types of conventional plastic bin Plastic Compost, tumbler bins which are turned to aerate the contents Tumbler Composters and even metal bins Metal Compost Bins. Most of these bins are used for cold composting and do not produce enough heat to kill germs, in addition, they often lack a base which allows access to rats and other vermin as well as beneficial composting organisms.