Composting is Mother Nature’s way of recycling old scraps into a beneficial meal for your garden. Your compost pile is the true hero in green gardening. By collecting grass clippings, fruit and vegetable trimmings and leaves, gardeners can create their own compost and give their garden a free, healthy, enriching treat. Composting your organic scraps also helps cut down on waste entering the landfill, which creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
In addition to providing a nutrient boost to soil and increasing organic matter, compost also helps combat plant disease and enriches the soil naturally.
When adding material to your compost pile, be sure to have an equal amount of “brown stuff” (carbon) and “green stuff” (nitrogen). Nitrogen is the heating agent for your compost pile and gets the materials cooking, while carbon helps break the materials down.
An easy way to collect compostable materials is to look at everyday life and see what gets thrown away. Organic materials that are not animal based can be put in the compost pile. Such items include:
- Egg shells
- Coffee grounds
- Fruit and vegetable trimmings
- Grass clippings
- Old plants
Beginning a compost pile is quite simple. Home-composters can simply put all compostable materials in a pile outside or keep compost ready materials in a container. Be sure to cut or break up all fruit and vegetable trimmings before including them in your compost pile. This will help them break down quicker and further deter critters who do not belong.
To maintain your compost pile, regularly add an equal amount of brown and green material. Turn your pile every 10 days or so by raking through it with a shovel or pitch fork. Remember to stop adding material to your pile after a while to give it time to break down.
When it is time to plant, incorporate finished compost into your garden for a healthier and greener garden!
St. Louis Composting (SLC) has six locations in Missouri and Illinois and is the largest compost manufacturer in Missouri. SLC’s compost is certified by the US Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) Program and is OMRI Listed, which is an on-going organic certified testing program. SLC carries a variety of certified compost, mulch, and soil blends and available by the bag or truckload. Delivery is available all year long. For more information call 636-861-3344 or visit www.stlcompost.com.