Composting Made Simple
Turn garden spoils into nutrient-rich compost, and you'll never have to buy fertilizer.
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Grass clippings, leaves, dead plants, shrub trimmings and other yard and garden "waste" can add up fast — especially from spring to fall. Instead of putting at the curb for pickup, compost it.
Finished compost is the best thing in the world for anything that grows. With the wealth of nutrients in finished compost, you can skip using fertilizers altogether if you routinely apply it. When you lay it on the soil surface, you're feeding the soil (rather than the plant). The soil will drain better, and the compost will attract earthworms and microbial activity in the soil.
The process of composting is a natural occurrence that usually takes years. When you compost at home, though, you speed up the process. With a little planning, you can produce usable compost in as little as three weeks. And, despite what people think, a properly maintained compost system doesn't create any unpleasant odors.
A step above the wire cage is the self-contained compost bin. A lid helps contain the materials, and a door on the bottom of the bin comes in handy when the compost is ready to be used. Expect usable compost from a bin like this in two to three months.
Another high-end compost option is the tumbler. It's designed in such a way that you turn it every day, which helps generate compost more quickly.
Here's a tip on how to start a fall vegetable garden in the heat of summer.