The Do's and Don'ts of Backyard Composting
It’s International Compost Awareness Week and a perfect opportunity to “Give Back to the Earth” in the form of rich, healthy compost that will nourish it and your garden. Here are some do's and don'ts to consider for backyard composting success.
Why Compost?Finished compost is a free soil amendment and fertilizer for the garden. It is mild and won't burn plants like chemical fertilizers. By adding compost you'll improve the overall texture of your soil enabling it to retain and drain water better.
Choose a Compost BinIn the DIY Compost Bins post I collected some nice examples of homemade compost bins on the Internet. The post on Compost Bins for Small Spaces showcased three commercially available compost bins for those who weren't born with the DIY gene and don't mind spending money.
Compost Bins as Pets.Think of your compost bin as a pet. This will do two things: it will help you see it as a living thing that shouldn’t be neglected, and teach you to ‘feed’ it a balanced diet.
There are two main types of organic materials you can feed your compost bin: greens and browns. Greens are high in nitrogen and described as 'wet.' Browns are described as 'dry' materials and are high in carbon.
When feeding your compost bin try to maintain a balance of 50% greens and 50% browns by weight. Since greens are typically heavier, you should add 2 to 3 buckets of browns for every bucket of greens you add.