Mother Earth Living

Fresh Clips: How to Compost

By The Herb Companion staff
February/March 2009
Add to My MSN

Photolibrary


Content Tools

Related Content

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Delightfully chewy and so very fresh, this quinoa version of tabbouleh will become a standard side d...

Product Review: EasyBloom

For some, the cold winter months may bring many ‘a’ merry moment. But for the sympathetic gardener, ...

Lessons: Wild, Labor-Free Garden

Yarrow. Angelica. Hoary mountain mint. Wild onion. Sweet violet. Greens ­galore: purslane, lamb’s-qu...

Composting with Kids!

Help your kids develop their green thumb by teaching them to compost.

Compost—the dark, crumbly humus left when organic matter has completely decayed—is the best thing you can give your plants. Compost feeds soil and plants, prevents disease, retains moisture, and buffers pH. And, it’s free. All you need is yard waste and a little muscle. Here’s what to do.

1. Gather browns and greens. Gather high-carbon “brown” materials (such as dry leaves, hay, straw and nutshells) and high-nitrogen “green” materials (such as fresh grass clippings, weeds, coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit scraps, hair, and seaweed). Aim for about two to three times as much brown material as green, by bulk.

2. Build the pile. Create a freestanding pile or use a compost bin, alternating layers of brown and green materials. A 3-by-3-by-3-foot pile is a good size.
Work in a shovelful or two of garden soil to introduce beneficial bacteria. Moisten each layer as you build the pile. The finished pile should feel wet but not soggy. Cover loosely with a tarp.

3. Turn, turn, turn. To ensure that the materials decay quickly, turn the pile about once a week, working from the inside out and from bottom to top. If the materials feel dry, add a little water. After one to two months, you should have finished compost, which will be dark, crumbly and odor-free. Screen out any large clumps before use.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.