hi I’m Stephen Orr and today we’re gonna talk about one of the most natural ways you can make your garden grow better, it’s composting. compost is one of those things that people are worried about because it’s going to be hard to do, it’s complicated , it’ll smell funny, and it takes a long time. now that’s true if you do it, you know, the wrong way. the right way is to just take a very simple approach. we’re gonna do composting for beginners today which is really trying to use some of the things from your refrigerator and your kitchen and your yard that normally would go into the landfill and these items can take up to a quarter of the landfills mass on a yearly basis.
Start with stuff from your kitchen what I love about composting it’s a great way to use the things in your refrigerator that you didn’t quite get to that start to turn or go bad you don’t feel wasteful about that. also anytime you’re peeling anything you can use all those peels all those cucumber peels any sort of skins off of fruits and vegetables. so all the vegetables that you have in your house those are great for compost those are easy to do only one to kind of think about if you’re a beginning composter is onions and garlic. both those things some people think repel earthworms which are vital part of the composting process so I’d avoid those if you’re just starting out. another thing that I try to as a beginning composter I would avoid is eggshells.
You can crush them up but I find if you’re just starting out and your compost is new they don’t break down as much. so you’re gonna have those little eggshell pieces and you’re in your compost when you pull it out. composting is all about the microbial action of your compost pile. you can either just make a three by three three foot by three foot compost pile on the ground but there’s also all sorts of compost makers you can use that are black plastic. the black plastic helps it heat up.
heat is really a vital thing for composting that heat helps the microbes break down the organic matter. what do we put in our compost we talked about vegetables we talked about onions and eggs eggshells as kind of advanced items same with citrus peels those can take a while.
One of my favorite things is coffee grounds if you’re doing coffee like I do every day you go you actually accumulate quite a lot of coffee grounds those can go right in the compost if you used unbleached filters those can go in as well. over here we have two things that go into compost and something in process. this is coffee grounds and I like herb tea so these are herbs from my garden and after I make the tea I put them in here.
these are great for composting you’re gonna want to combo your green items which were wet with your brown items which are dry so that’s kind of the science that’s the only real science you need to think about with composting is having the green and the brown together in the right amounts.
So start with the brown add the green and you just layer that up so when you go and look at your compost pile if it seems a little too wet and you smell anything at all add more Brown. if you go and you look at it and it seems dry you might want to add more green and you might even want to put some water in it to make it moist. it really should smell like good soil as it’s being made this has kind of been processed this compost it has a few leaves in it it has some twigs in it those will never compost. so if you want to be strict with your compost don’t put those twigs in but these leaves will all break down with the green and the brown and ultimately you’re gonna have this beautiful it’s almost like chocolate cake.
that’s what some people talk about it feels kind of like crumbled chocolate cake and it smells great it really just smells sweet.
It doesn’t it smells like really great soil and slightly sweet. and so this is the black gold that gardeners are after they’re really after this compost that they can use in their garden you can apply it to your flowerbeds; it’s a very gentle fertilizer and it really will help all your plants perk up and at the end of the day composting is one of the best ways to recycle and it’s also one of the best ways to have the healthiest garden you could have. we’ve talked about all the things that are good for the beginning composter here’s some things that aren’t good to compost. and that is any meat dairy products.
I personally avoid cooked items like oatmeal even although that can work really well. but I find that some of these things can really make your compost go bad and start to really smell also they do attract more animals and pests and you might want. so one way to accumulate all your good stuff that you have all your peelings and tea and coffee grounds is just have a container in your kitchen.
I just use a crock like a earthenware pot that I put it in it kind of forces me to deal with it more often it’s not very big. if you want to have if you have a lot of waste or a medium amount of waste this is a good one.
you might have to empty it every few days but it’s a good way to just easily put it in a counter top and then you can take it out to the compost pile. so if you’re starting your compost pile out I think one of the best ways to get all those microbes humming is to take some compost starter. you can buy this online from a variety of brands, and you just want to get an organic compost starter that is full of microbes that are ready to go and it has some alfalfa and kelp meal in there as well. and you can add that to your starter compost and then put some water on it and then you do that once you know you can do that several times a year or so every other month.
so after a few months in the compost bin you’ll have this great compost which kind of looks like crumbled chocolate cake and you can just spread it on your flowerbeds and in your pots and with just these kitchen scraps and a little bit of time and the right microbes you’ll have the happiest garden you can have.