Composting is the backbone of the garden!
As a matter of fact I haven’t seen a proper gardener that doesn’t compost him/herself.
I mean if you have the opportunity to make your own black gold, why wouldn’t you?
Compost is called black gold because it’s rich in nutrients that provide the elements your plants need to grow vigorous and lushly, full of beauty and deliciousness. Plants need nutrients like we need food! If we don’t provide the nutrients necessary for the plant to do their thing, it’s the same as trying to build a puzzle or a machine without all its pieces, yeah you can do it but does it look and perform well?
Sometimes if nutrient deficiency is severe, the plant cannot bear flowers or fruits, and it could even die! People usually add fertilizer to compensate for the lack of nutrients in the soil but it could be very harmful to nature as well. Fertilizers are washed by water and its elements will end up in natural water streams contaminating it.
If you use black gold, you won't need to do that, because it has all the nutrients your plants need – AND it’s good for the planet.
Composting is a honestly very simple concept. It is the natural process of decomposing organic material. We literally put a bunch of organic material in a pile, bin, container, mountain etc, and let the decomposition organisms act by their own nature. It sounds easy and it is.
It does have a few principles to it though. The organisms that will break down your organic matter need to consume oxygen, so you must always provide oxygen to the pile. The easiest way to do that is by turning the pile every once in a while. You give it a good poke!
The compost organisms are like me, they like it HOT. The ideal temperature for us is between 70 F (21C) and 100 F (38C). If the temperature gets much below that our activity will slow down or stop completely. Too much above that, we get sluggish too. (They must be somewhat Brazilian).
Unlike me though, the organisms need a humid environment to thrive. So, we must keep the pile moist, not wet. Just give it a spray every once in a while. We must make sure that we have a good balance between dry and fibrous material (brown), that are rich in carbon, and wet (green) organic matter which is rich in nitrogen.
These elements are essential for the organisms compost breakers. A rate of 2:1 brown to green is ideal so your pile is healthy. This ratio is the difference between a smelly pile and a neat one.
Bellow is a list with some examples of brown and green material you can compost.
Now, there are a few things we should pay attention to: Pet waste can be composted but the compost should not be used on the edible garden (same apply for things treated with any toxic materials, for example colorful magazine pages).
Cedar or pine clippings and citrus fruits will slow down the composting process but can too be composted; however, some people recommend not to.
I compost almost everything that’s in front of me as long as its organic matter; everything but meat and dairy for I don’t want to attract meat eater animals to my composting bin. (Since we moved to the new house raccoons attacked our garbage twice!!! Must build fort for garbage bin lol)
If I have a composting bin like this guy I don't think racoons would bother. That's from a client's house. Very nice one!
I compost everything because composting is also a part of the future changing decision of producing less waste. Food scraps and garden waste make currently 20-40% of all the waste produced by a household. That’s a lot!
Keeping this waste out of the landfills is important because there, it would be in a ginormous pile with no access the oxygen it needs to decompose. Who’s gonna turn that pile? All that time while in the landfill all that garbage will be expelling a liquid which in huge amounts like that could contaminate the soil and the water underneath it too.
Besides all of that, many times the organic matter on the landfills are burned and that liberate all sort of harmful gases to the atmosphere contaminating our air!
Since the benefits of composting are so many and the downs of the alternative are so bad, I definitely have a composting bin wherever I go. In the new place we have access to a nice sized backyard where we now have a awesome composting bin. I can compost almost 100% of all my organic waste.
Because of that I felt bold and actually turned my composting game on with my new worm tower.
Oh yeah baby – pet worms black gold pooper! Yes please! Turns out that worms are one of the organisms that eat our organic matter and turn it into compost! So now I have new pets!
I am so excited about it that I will make a whole post with a product review of my new Go Green Worm Factory. So far I love love love it! I will also make a blog post with the step by step process of our DIY garden waste composting bins. On Long Island there are a few towns that actually sells composting bins. I was looking to get one but I have been getting a hard time getting in touch with them. As soon as I get one I’ll let you guys know.
In a nutshell composting is great for everyone! I save on fertilizer, my garden loves it and the planet gets a little greener. Win win win! Why don’t you start a composting pile too? It can be as easy as you want it to be. My first compost bin was simply that: a bin!
Of course the possibilities are endless, that's the beauty of what's simple!
If you want a composting bin but would like suggestions on how to make them beautiful and functional for your own place? Give us a call or shoot us an email!
If you need help setting up your own composting bin or have an idea for a compost bin and would like help to make it come true we would love to help you out!
For advice, encouragement, question answering hit us up too. More Than Gardens is here to help you and together we will regenerate our soil, our nature and our planet!