by Cindy Pantea
Awhile ago I wrote a post about my Grandma, who was a recycler and composter. Her way of composting, though, was to keep her food scraps in the coffee can underneath her sink and then add them to her garden when the can was full.
As Polly, our Flowerscape Director, and composting experts will tell you, however, it is not a good idea to put food scraps directly into your garden due to the acidity of the decaying materials.
Actually, it is best to mix already composted materials with the natural soil on your property/in your garden, and it will help keep the soil moist for your plants.
Normally people do not even get that far because just the idea of a compost pile scares them. They think it smells.
But I am here to tell you again that compost piles do not smell if done correctly. And it is simple. Basically equal parts of green material and dirt or other brown materials are going to keep the compost from smelling at all.
To prove this, allow me and our President & CEO, Paula Davis, share something that Paula took from her HGTV Magazine this month. It is written by Daryl Beyers who gives us specific suggestions for green and brown materials that make for the best compost.
Green materials being: fruit ends and peels, fruit cores, corn cobs, vegetable ends and peels, grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grouds and tea bags.
Brown materials being: peanut shells, twigs, leaves, toilet paper rolls, shredded paper towels and paper, cooked pasta (without butter or oils), and plain popcorn (without butter or oils).
DO NOT COMPOST: Meat, milk cheese butter, yogurt, oils, salad dressing or dog poop.
Here are the directions from Beyers:
- Put ingredients in an outdoor compost bin or a pile in your yard that will get four to six hours of sun a day. (Note: Compost housed in a bin can be ready in 30 days while it may take a few months for a pile of compost to be ready.)
- Add a shovelful of garden soil then mix every week or two by turning the materials with your shovel or pitch fork. (Note: The more you mix, the faster it will be ready.)
- Add water if the compost seems dry.
The compost is done when it looks dark, rich and fluffy with no recognizable materials, except for maybe a piece of a leaf or twig.
The picture article is shown below. Click on the picture and zoom in for better viewing capabilities.