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Green Friendly Composting

Posted on 26 January 2011

by Janine Buchal for the Landscape Network

Green Friendly Compositing

Local Guru of Composting, Judy Elliot, says, “Composting feeds plants better
than chemical fertilizers, reduces disease and can reduce water bills by 40%.”
Furthermore, composting makes gardening easier. “You can enjoy the fruits of
your labor, rather than laboring over your fruits,” Judy continues. An educator
for Denver Urban Gardens, Judy reminds us “composting turns trash to
treasure.” It is a simple process, not labor intense, messy or smelly. Eureka!

So how do we start? Pick a commercial bin or make a homemade one from

cinderblocks, wood palates or my favorite, chicken wire fencing. Most garden
centers sell compost bins or can suggest dimensions that will work best for the
homemade version.

Go ahead, cut off the end of carrots and grab your broken eggshells, coffee
grounds or banana peels. Rather than dumping them into your trash, add these
items to your outdoor compost bin. Anything organic, short of fats, meats or
bones can be used as compost and will transform itself into the best possible
growing material, just by letting it sit outside in your well-chosen compost bin or
in a covered space fenced in by chicken wire.

Cover the pile, if not already and water occasionally so your compost does not
completely dry out. After time, the compost should become dark in color and be
broken down enough not to recognize its original state. The best compost is the
consistency of coffee grounds but somewhat more lumpy. Compost smells like
earth. It can be spread as top soil as it neutralizes our Coloradoan alkaline soil.
It slowly releases nitrogen, phosphate and potassium into the soil making it ideal
for scrubs, herbs and lawns.

Compost has other enormous advantages. It loosens up otherwise dense soil,
including the clay like options we have throughout Colorado. Compost holds
100% of its weight in water making for easier plant drainage. It can drastically
reduce ones trash collection load, as well. Remember, any organic item can
be composted rather than thrown in the landfill. The nutrients found within
compost combined with the soil make for a much fertile soil for your garden,
beneath your scrubs or even to aid bad grass patches with more healthy growth.

Green compost material is higher in nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important element
in helping speed up decomposition, naturally. Yard waste such as leaves and
dirt are okay to add to the pile as well. Continue to turn the soil occasionally
to disperse the nutrients. Treat it like a magical pile that will one day be your
plant’s source of inspiration for growth and perhaps your garden will become the
envy or your neighbors.Bookmark and Share

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