Hello friends! It’s your Compost Diva here! I want to take a moment to introduce myself to my newest fans. I also want to say hello to those of you who haven’t heard from me in a while. The truth is I’ve been very busy. You see, every day that passes there are more and more people out there who have realized the importance of composting. This makes me excited! You have absolutely no idea just how incredibly thrilled I am!
Do you want to know what I’ve been doing for the past few months? I’ve been working hard getting information about the Green Cycler out to the world! Did you realize the Green Cycler is about to be offered for sale on Amazon and also on HomeDepot.com? Because of this incredibly great news, I recently decided the best way to spread the details about the Green Cycler’s awesome benefits is to keep you all informed about the latest trends in composting on this blog. This includes instructions on how to compost, what to compost, and the best ways to use compost. So come back often for my endless list of tips, tricks and information!
A little refresher about why is compost good:
- It is a great way to give your garden the nutrients it needs.
- It keeps organic materials out of landfills.
- It keeps organic materials out of garbage disposals (where they create methane, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more damaging than CO2.)
- It yields nutrient-rich material that you can use in your yard or garden as mulch or fertilizer.
Shredding is the Secret to Fast Compost
For those of you new to composting, there is one secret to making your compost work faster: SHREDDING. Shredding your compostables provides friendly bacteria more surface area in which to work. For instance, if you throw a fully intact apple or watermelon rind into a compost pile during the winter, you’ll still recognize its form in the spring. No matter what your environment, shredding organic waste can expedite the composting process by 4 to 10 times. According to the University of California/Berkeley, shredding is “the key to successful composting.”
How can Shredding be Accomplished?
- With a lawnmower
- With a wood chipper
- By hand with kitchen utensils
- With a blender or food processor
- WITH A GREEN CYCLER
If you think it’s hard to make compost, you would be mistaken! There is a basic recipe to follow if you want to make compost fast:
1) Adding the right balance of “Browns” and “Greens”
2) Shredding your compostables
3) Providing enough moisture
4) Regular turning, aeration and maintenance
What are Browns & Greens?
Browns are high in carbon and easy to find—anything dry like dead leaves, yard clippings, straw, cardboard, eggshells and egg cartons, newspaper and other forms of non-shiny paper. Even paper towels and the paper tubes they come in work just fine.
Greens are high in nitrogen and can be fresh grass clippings, or remains from fruits and vegetables, bread and grain products, tea bags, coffee grounds, coffee filters, dryer lint. All of these can be added to your compost pile.
Tip: Stay away from dairy, meat or oily kitchen scraps for the pile as they can attract pests and interfere with the composting process. For a full listing of organic materials you can compost, click here.
The right mix of Browns and Greens is important. In fact, making the pile “too green” is a common mistake of beginning composters. The best ratio we’ve found is about 30:1 (carbon:nitrogen). A useful, detailed guide to finding the C:N ratios of different organic materials and on how to build your pile using layers of Browns and Greens can be found here.
Getting it “Just Right”
Remember folks, if I can do it, you can do it! All it takes is the right equipment, the right amount of moisture, and the right ingredients.
Well, I’m off to teach a group of kids about the benefits of earthworms and on how to raise city chickens! Check back soon for info on ideas for beneficial Browns and Greens to use in your composting.
-Your Compost Diva