3 Key Compost Ingredients

How to make the perfect compost for gardening and more

You don’t have to look any further than the trash you throw out each day to find quality composting ingredients. Instead of simply filling your landfill with biodegradable material, you can take a step toward bettering your environment, saving money and having a beautiful garden when you learn how to compost at home.

Composting worms

No matter what kind of composting ingredients you have in your composting bins, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources advocates using composting worms. A great compost activator, certain worms will eat the biodegradable refuse that you have stored in your compost bin, and when they excrete it, you’ll be left with some compost material that will make your garden bountiful. While it might seem disgusting to us, plants love the rich material created by composting with worms. They’ll repay you for their treat by blooming beautifully.

Kitchen scraps make easy compost ingredients

The material that is leftover from your daily food preparation doesn’t necessarily have to go to waste. Whether you have vegetable peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds or leftovers, you can make your compost pile rich with biodegradable material by tossing in the leavings from your kitchen. If you want to make compost the easy way, simply leave your compost bin in your kitchen, where you can quickly and easily toss your scraps while you’re preparing food.

According to the Garden Guides, an online resource with information from novice to expert gardeners, over time, these ingredients will turn into the natural fertilizer that is compost. With this rich, free fertilizer, you can grow a beautiful, natural garden that can supply you with fruits and vegetables or lovely flowers. In some cases, you can sell your compost to other gardeners. According to the Garden Guides, composting helps you save money and go green.

As a word of caution, however, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection warns against using materials that may cause disease or foul smells when composting. For instance, you want to avoid composting dairy or meat products.

Make compost out of paper

Kitchen scraps are the obvious answer to the person who is looking for compost ingredients, but paper can also be used in the compost pile.

According to the Garden Guides, you can use newspaper, cardboard and other scraps of paper to make compost. However, the paper must be shredded in order to make compost. Although newsprint is fine for composting, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection suggests that it should only make up 10 percent or less of the compost pile.

It’s also important that you layer and balance these “green” and “brown” materials. Common moist green materials include kitchen scraps and grass clippings, while dry, brown materials include newspaper and fallen leaves. Layering and balancing these materials helps you achieve optimum moisture, and covering a green layer with a brown layer helps keep pests out.

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