Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yummy yummy Compost

In Jersey we have sand, lots of it, and although sand is great for drainage it does not offer much in the way of nutrition. There are a few ways to enhance the quality of your soil before starting a garden, composting is my favorite. Composting is one of the easiest ways to improve your garden. I always keep a bag on the counter to collect all our organic trash and empty it before it gets stinky.  Free organic fertilizer!

First, pick a place to start a compost pile.  My compost pile is in the back corner of the garden, compost can get a bit stinky so away from the house is better.  Just start the pile directly on the ground (not on concrete or pavers) so the worms can move in to help break things down.

Next add the goods, leaves, twigs, straw, paper (not glossy or coated), eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, grass clippings, vegetable scraps, fruit peelings, green plant clippings and annual weeds.  I throw all the compost materials on the pile and every  week or so I add some garden soil and mix the pile up with a shovel. I continue this process all year and the entire pile gets tilled into the garden rows in the spring. 

Another benefit to composing is how much we reduce our household waste.  About 25% of the garbage we produce ends up in our garden making our veggies grow better, if we didn't compost all of our veggie scraps would be in a plastic bag in a landfill for forever.  Composting is work, but the benefits for your garden and our environment make every single shovel worth it.

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