Your garden needs the right soil if it is going to be successful. Clay and compacted soils will drown out your plants or make it hard for them to grow. Sandy soils won’t provide the nutrients your plants need to grow. You need a soil that is rich in nutrients and that will retain water enough to keep your plants happy but won’t hold on to it so much that it drowns them.
No matter what your natural soil is like, one of the best ways to get the soil you need is to add compost to it. You can easily make your own compost using kitchen scraps and yard waste. Not only is making your own compost preferable since you can control what goes into it (thereby reducing harmful chemicals), but it also helps you to save money and to reduce waste. Here are a few top tips for successful composting:
1. Start with the Right Bin
You can make a compost bin out of just about anything – an old trash can, a mesh cage, a pile of pallets. You can even make a compost pile in the open air with no bin. However, these methods can leave your compost vulnerable to pests or to outside elements that could throw off the balance required to make compost.
To get great compost in the shortest amount of time possible, you need the right bin. It should be completely enclosed on all sides and the top, with the bottom open so that the compost materials are resting directly on the ground. This will help to keep things out that don’t need to be in your compost and it will help to keep the bin the right temperature for making compost.
2. Get the Right Mix of Greens and Browns
Your compost comes together through the work of worms, bacteria and a delicate mix of chemical interactions. To make sure you get a good compost and to get it quickly, you need to put the right mix of “greens” and “browns” in the pile.
“Greens” include all plant-based kitchen waste (fruits, vegetables, grains), yard clippings, the old plants from your garden, and weeds. “Browns” include dead leaves, small twigs, wood chips, sawdust, cardboard, and newspaper. Your pile should be two parts greens and one part browns. If this mixture is thrown off, your compost will take much longer to form or may never form at all.
3. Keep Out the Wrong Items
Many people put items in their compost bin that they shouldn’t. Manure is the most common example. While cow manure is great for your compost, the manure from household pets is not. Manure from dogs and cats could introduce harmful bacteria into your compost that could make you and your family sick.
Other items to keep out of your compost include any kind of meats or dairy, bones, diseased materials and materials that contain harmful chemicals. Some of these items will attract unwanted pests, some will disturb the balance of your compost, and some will increase your risk of becoming ill.
4. Make Sure to Water It and Turn It
If you just leave your compost pile to sit with the right ingredients, it will do its work on its own – it just may take a long time. You can help the process along by watering and turning your compost pile. Both help to activate the process and move it along quicker. About once a week, you should open the lid of your compost bin, spray it with water, and use a pitchfork to turn the ingredients.
5. Make Sure It Gets Hot Enough
The bacteria in your compost need to live at around 90 degrees Fahrenheit to do their work. While you don’t need to get into your bin with a thermometer, you do need to make sure the conditions are right to maintain these temperatures. That includes keeping your compost bin enclosed, with a lid always fastened, and making sure it stays watered once a week to keep it activated.
While it may seem like there’s a lot involved with composting, it’s actually a really easy process: Dump your waste in the bin, and turn and water it once a week. If you make sure you follow all these steps, you’ll have a dark, rich, healthy compost in a couple of months that you can put in your garden or on your lawn for strong and healthy plants.
Composting – Why Would I?
Composting – isn’t it time-consuming, smelly and messy?
Is it even legal to have a decomposing heap in my yard?
How do I know what to include?
Doesn’t a pile of kitchen scraps make a great feast for mice, rats, and raccoons?
Does compost really work as well as the fertilizers I can buy?
Isn’t it all just a hassle?
These are all questions that a beginning composter likely asks. Many of them are simply false perceptions. Composting does not have to be messy and smelly if it’s set up properly. And rich black compost – the fruit of your labor – is one of the best ways to add rich nutrients to your soil.
Here are my top personal reasons for composting. I believe that long before you reach number 10 on the list, you’ll be convinced to set up your own compost station.
- All the materials are free and readily available. All you require is a little effort to find and collect the best material for your compost instead of placing them in your trash. Compared to the cost of commercial fertilizers, soil conditioners, and mulches, setting up a home compost system saves you money.
- Well-composted material provides more nutrients and minerals than commercial synthetic fertilizers. By using the right proportions of both nitrogen-rich material and carbon-rich material, your compost will have a wide range of nutrients available for your gardens.
- Compost benefits the actual structure of the soil. It helps the soil retain moisture longer. It reduces soil compaction in clay type soils and adds necessary structure to sandy soils. You’ll also find your soil is easier to till.
- Hot composting of weeds and other garden waste can kill troublesome weed seeds, as well as kill disease-causing soil organisms. If you’re not set up for hot composting (more about this in …), make sure you add only weeds that have not gone to seed.
- Plants grown in compost-rich soils better resist pests, disease and insect attacks. They can access a greater range of minerals, so are healthier. Also, with compost-amended soil, they are less likely to dry out between watering.
- By composting, you are lowering the amount of waste that goes into landfills. Our environment will be cleaner and safer, with less necessity for dumping sites overall.
- You will reduce the amount of garbage in your home since what you would otherwise put in your garbage bag may now be placed in the compost pit.
- Composting helps keep carbon in the soil, reducing greenhouse gases. It may take a lot of composting to have an effect on greenhouse gases, but you will be doing your bit.
- Compost can balance the levels of acidity in soils that have been subjected to chemical fertilizers. If you plan to switch to organic gardening, adding compost to your soil will balance and clean your soil faster.
- Your crops will yield more, and the fruits and vegetables will be more nutrient-rich.
These are my top reason for composting. Composting speeds up the processes that are beneficial to plants, humans, and the environment.
Don’t you agree it is definitely worth your time and effort? Check this site for answers to your questions about the benefits of composting, and the best practices for success.
Yimby Tumbler Composter
In case you’re not aware, Yimby stands for “Yes in my backyard.” With this around your yard, you’ll able to contribute less waste to landfills by composting all your food and yard wastes in just a few weeks.
The Yimby Tumbler Composter is made from the recycled durable plastic bin that’s UV-resistant and rodent-proof. It features adjustable air vents and a steel frame for extra support.
It is divided into two chambers: one chamber is for storing wastes while the other chamber is for composting. It has a sliding door for each chamber and integrated hand-holders for easy turning. Depending on environmental conditions, it can “cook” compost in just two weeks, according to the manufacturer!
This tumbling composter has a 37-gallon capacity and its overall dimension is 36 inches (height) by 28 inches (width) by 26 inches (depth). It weighs approximately 30 pounds.
- Many find the two separate chambers very useful for batch composting.
- With the built-in hand-holders, this tumbling composter is easy to turn, even if almost full.
- The bin is made from high-quality durable plastic while the legs are made from tin.
- The weight is not too heavy and too light that the bin easily falls over once full or gets blown by a strong wind.
- It is relatively easy to assemble by one or two people.
- It makes good quality compost quicker – around two months – than the average compost pile.
- The customer service support is responsive, nice, and acts fast to the concerns of consumers.
- So far, home users don’t have any problems with it leaking bad odor from the compost.
- Since it’s not waterproof, rainwater tends to seep into the chambers, so the compost would get wet and heavy.
- A crank would be a nice addition to making it easy to turn the bin when it gets too heavy.
- Flies may swarm around it, especially during summers.
Read also: How To Make Leaf Mould Compost Builder
Should You Grab This Yimby Tumbler Composter?
So far, the Yimby Tumbler Composter received positive reviews from many consumers and most of them say it’s everything they need at a very reasonable price.
We personally really love how easy it is to assemble and turn this tumbler. Its hand holders, two independent chambers, and black coating make it easy to produce great quality compost faster every single time.
Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if the manufacturer adds an optional crank for turning the bin and make it 100% waterproof.
Overall, we highly recommend the Yimby Tumbler Composter to anyone who does regular composting, or even to those who are planning to get started on this eco-friendly practice…