Many municipalities in North America now require all residents to compost their good and garden waste instead of throwing it in the trash, which allows the city to turn it into soil that can be used in city parks or given away to locals to use in their gardens. Even if your town hasn't caught up to the green revolution yet, you can still participate by having your own composter outside your home. Here are some tips for setting up your composter and getting the most out of it.
Composters can be purchased for under $100 at any home or gardening store. The best kind to get are tall and ventilated with a hinged lid. Most people like to position them away from the attractive features of their yard, like the interlocking retaining walls and the flower beds, instead tucking it into a shady corner near the back. This is a good place for it. Shade helps keep the internal temperature (and the smell) down and also hides the composter from view somewhat.
Instead of constantly trekking back and forth across the yard to deposit your food waste in the composter, keep a small collection bin in your kitchen. A large ice cream container works perfectly well, but you can also buy small green compost bins with carrying handles from home stores. If your home is part of a curbside composting program, you can use compostable bags, but if you're composting at home it's better to line your bin with newspaper, as it breaks down faster.
In order to get quality soil out of your composter, you should maintain a good mix of "green" material (kitchen food waste, such as fruit and vegetable peelings) and "brown" material (collected leaves, sticks, and plant matter from your yard). Some of the waste you generate in the kitchen of your property, such as meat, bones, and pet droppings, should not go in your compost pile. If you follow these guidelines, you compost pile will not smell or attract rodents and animals.
In order to turn waste into soil, your compost pile needs the right conditions. It should be damp but not soggy (you may need to water it in a drought and cover it in the rain) and it should be turned over regularly with a pitchfork to make sure the microorganisms can get at all of the material. Even if you've bought a house for sale that are part of a curbside program, you can still compost in your yard instead.
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