Composting

Composting is Fun for the Whole Family

By James Allen

Looking for an activity the entire family can participate in that is educational, good for the planet and fun? Look no further than composting. Starting a compost pile in your backyard is one of the best ways to make a positive impact on the health of the environment and, on a smaller scale, the health of your plants and garden. Children of all ages can participate in some way and will learn invaluable lessons about how organic matter breaks down and the importance of keeping waste out of your county landfill. And, you’ll be helping to prepare the next generation of composters to continue to do their part for the planet.

We all know recycling is important, and hopefully it has become an engrained part of your family’s daily routine. But once that plastic bottle or paper wrapper ends up in its assigned barrel, your work is finished. And unless you go visit a waste treatment facility or recycling plant, chances are its pretty much a mystery to most what actually becomes of our recycled waste. Composting puts you in charge of the entire process. Your compost bin or tumbler is the recycling facility and you are the head of waste management, at least for a good portion of your food scraps and yard waste.

If you maintain a garden or even just have some basic plants and flowers around your home, composting is the ideal way to keep them healthy and really, to give them what they need to thrive. Finished compost, or humus, added to your soil acts as a pH buffer and helps your soil retain moisture and oxygen. Humus can also cool the soil surface and help deter erosion by encouraging a vigorous root system bolstered by the added nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other nutrients present. If you’re not the gardening type, simply donate your finished humus to a friend or family member with a green thumb or even to your local gardening center.

To get started, a simple compost bin or compost tumbler is recommended, along with one of the many guides or how-to books on the market. These should list the items that are good for your compost pile and those that are not. Pay special attention to this – not all waste is good for your compost pile. There is an optimum nitrogen – carbon ratio a composter should strive for, and adding the wrong food scraps or lawn and garden waste could ruin the whole batch.

For a great selection of composting and gardening supplies including compost tumblers, chipper shredders, and lawn sweepers, visit : www.composters.com or your local Garden Store or Landscape Center.

ADDITIONAL COMPOSTING WEBSITES:

www.compostguide.com

www.composters.com

www.composting101.com

www.compostumbler.com

www.howtocompost.org

www.mastercomposter.com

www.compostingcouncil.org

www.composting.org

www.compost-bin.org

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