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COMPOSTING - JUST DO IT

When discussing composting with others I'm amazed at how hard some people make composting out to be. I hear them discussing the need for proper organisms, bacteria, protezoa, carbon to nitrogen ratio, sunlight vs shade, the need for tumbling composters, the need for..... stop already. The bottom line is if you have vegetation, leaf litter, or garden waste and heap it on a pile it will eventually rot, which is a less desirable term for compost.

Don't make composting harder than it has to be. To help speed the process of composting you need to keep three thing in mind; heat, moisture and mixing.

Choose a compost bin that allows the vegetation or yard litter to heat up. Almost any composter will facilitates heat merely by keeping the contents contained. Green vegetation will heat quicker due to the nitrogen that it emits through the process of decay and brown or dead vegetation or litter will heat up slower.

Keep compost moist but not wet. I like to keep the lid off an enclosed compost bin when rain is in the forecast. For open air composters, like the wooden slat bins, you may need to pour a bucket of water on the contents periodically, however, remember to be eco friendly and use rainwater whenever possible.

The last process needed to speed the process of composting is mixing. Mixing allows for the nitrogen emitting green vegetation to mix with the slower rotting brown vegetation, and also keeps all of the content moist. If you have a compost bin that turns or tumbles, mixing is a snap. If you have a wooden slat or stationary compost bin you will have to rely on a shovel, fork or spade to keep the contents mixed.

Choose a compost bin that fits your need. If you have a lot of vegetation and yard litter to compost you should choose an open air larger wood slat or wire enclosed composter. Their capacity is usally greater than tumbling or stationary barrel composters. However, the vegetation tends to dry out quicker and you have to turn the contents by hand. If you don't have a large capacity need for composting, you should consider a barrel type or tumbling composter. They tend to keep the content moist longer than the open air composters and of course mixing the compost is a snap with one of the tumbling varieties.

Remember, don't overthink it. Get a compost bin, fill it up and start creating rich organic material today.

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