Ahhh, the sweet smell of compost!…..
“Sweet??”, you say?
Yes, actually. A healthy compost pile should never smell bad, but should have a nice earthy smell- and when it does, I and many of my garden zealot friends can often be found running our fingers through the finely aged compost. (I’m not kidding!) Anyway, eccentricities aside, a compost pile can be not only a recycling facility for your kitchen and your garden waste, but also a highly efficient processing plant- ran by earth worms and other critters- that produces a first rate soil improver- compost.
No garden should be without it!
If you are one of the many people that are intimidated by composting, fear not. It really is easy. There are a few basics everyone need to have, like a space for the bin or pile- usually out of plain site, but not so much that it’s out of mind, some time (not very much) to tend it, and some simple ingredients. The main ingredients will likely be fallen leaves, weed and grass clippings, other garden waste and fruit and veggie scraps from the kitchen. You can also compost paper (without dye), egg cartons and bread (without butter, etc.)
The part about composting that usually stops people from actually doing it, is fear of not “adding the right ingredients”. The solution to that can be broken down into one simple statement:
If the contents of your pile tends to be wet and smelly, mix in more browns; if they are dry, mix in more greens.
“What”, you say, “the heck are greens and browns??” Well…
– Comfrey leaves
– Grass clippings
– Soft garden cuttings
– Kitchen scraps, incl. coffee grounds, tea bags, spent cut flowers (cut up small)
– Fresh (herbivore)animal manures
– Old straw
– Tough vegetable stems
– Herbaceous stems
– Cardbord tubes, egg cartons, paper bags – all crumpled up
– Dry fallen leaves
– Aged (herbivore) animal manures
If you’re interested in more info on composting and/or help in creating a composting system for your garden, contact me here, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t mind at all getting my hands dirty!