|Compost is the richest fertilizer you can use. And you can make it yourself with a little effort. Compost consists of decaying organic material. Things like leaves, grass, decomposable kitchen scraps, even hair clippings can be used to make compost. These materials are layered in a container (or
pile) with soil and manure or a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
- Start with a layer of dry "brown" materials, like wood chips, dried leaves, sawdust, or straw.
- Add a layer of moist "green" materials, such as grass cuttings, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, dead Flowers, or prunings from your garden.
- Keep adding layers, alternating quot;green" & "brown" materials with a layer of soil and manure.
- The mixture should be kept warm and wet (water with a hose once a week to keep entire mixture moist), and aerated (it's got to breathe!). It will need to be turned, or mixed, every week or so.
- Add chicken manure or bone meal (for nitrogen) if your compost isn't decaying.
- After 2-3 months, the compost will be ready to use in your garden! Your compost is ready when it is dark and crumbly and looks like soil.
Things To Use:
Mix compost into soil around existing plants once or twice a year. Prepare new planting areas by working liberally into soil. Spread around the base of shrubs and Flowers as mulch.
Although compost can be made in an open pile, you'll get faster results if you use a bin. A small
Kitchen Compost Carrier
can hang on the cupboard door or even sit on your kitchen counter.
Larger bins for your yard are available for purchase everywhere now, but if you want to try making your own, see Making Your Own Compost Bin.
Things NOT to use: ashes from the barbeque, animal by-products (meat scraps, grease, bones), milk or dairy products, dog or cat droppings, cardboard, diseased plants.