How do I start composting?
We noticed a trending topic in the GrowIt! Q&A — composting. And since we’ll soon be transferring pumpkins off the front stoop, let’s keep them out of the trash. It’s the perfect time to start a compost bin to feed your garden.
What are the benefits of composting? Member @kgkamka5 credits her compost of “coffee grounds, egg shells, and potato peels” as the secret to her magnificent Clematis.
GrowIt! member @Queenofthedaisies asks:
“Any tips on how to start a small compost bin, in a multi-season state? How does it survive the winter?”
@Ascot83 jumped in to share his advice:
“There are tons of articles available with a general google search, but here are my tips (I live in Minneapolis, so definitely multi-season):
Choose a location that has convenient access. If it’s hard to get to, you won’t use it.
Buy or DIY a compost bin. Larger is better! Also, just a “pile” is fine too.
Simply make a pile of organic waste including browns and greens. Browns are things like dead leaves, paper, cardboard, coffee grounds, anything dead or dry. Greens are…green! Veggie/fruit scraps, lawn clippings, plant clippings, etc. A good balance will keep it perfectly moist. Not too dry, not soupy.
DO add: egg cartons, egg shells, small branches (cut up), sawdust.
DON’T add: meat, citrus peels, anything too acidic, fat/lard, plastics or industrial composted materials.
Also, it’s great (and ok, if you’re healthy) to pee on it! The urea and ammonia will give it a great jump start.
Keep your pile evenly moist.
SAVE EVERYTHING! (From the kitchen) I have a metal pail on my kitchen floor – as I cook/clean I just plop the scraps into the bucket – when it’s full, I dump it!
When your pile has grown to a good size, give it a good flip/stir every few days to let it breathe. It will take a few months but you’ll have the most amazing black compost for your beds.”
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