Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Five Habits of a Successful Composter

Here are a few tried and true habits that anyone can adopt to create beautiful compost faster.

1. Bury your food waste

Avoid creating smells which repel your friends while attracting curious 4-legged critters. Placing food waste under a layer of leaves or plant clippings will keep your pile smelling composty fresh.

2. Add carbon (brown stuff)

You may only think about composting your banana peels and apple cores, but a successful compost pile has a 3 to 1 balance of brown to green. Keep a pile of leaves next to your bin to add as needed. If you’re short on leaves consider shredded paper, sawdust, or torn up cardboard.

3. Turn frequently

If you want your compostables to decompose before the next glacier, you need to work air into the pile. Like blowing on a campfire, the air will heat up your pile and make it compost in double-time. Without turning you will have to wait at least a year for finished compost.

4. Chop it up

Don’t add anything too big to the pile. The smaller you can cut, break, clip, or tear what you add to the pile, the faster it will break down.

5. Water, when needed

Your pile should be about as damp as a wrung out sponge. Most of the year, food waste and the occasional rain will suffice. But in hot and dry weather, the pile gets too dry to maintain all the wonderful microorganisms working to break up your compost. Watering will keep your pile alive.

Unlike flossing your teeth or picking up your dirty socks, these good habits will lead to a faster, more well-balanced compost pile. Adopt them and you will be composting like a pro in no time.

But we still recommend you keep flossing.

1 comment:

  1. I put my vege scraps in a food processer with some water. Not only does it break down faster, but also adds in moisture when the weather is hot and dry.