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If you’ve debated composting in the past, you really shouldn’t put it off much longer. With fall rolling through, it’s a great time to get started. There are few seasons better suited to getting a pile started, and you can get it going enough through the winter to have compost ready to spread for next season.
Why is Fall So Good for Starting a Compost Pile?
Folks often think of fall as the end of the year, as the death of the lawn and garden. From this death, you can get more life started for the coming year. Here are ways that fall creates a great situation for compost:
- Last Grass Clippings – Grass clippings are at the base of a good compost, and the last few times you mow the lawn will produce plenty of clippings that need to be cleaned up. Put them to use instead of putting them out with the trash.
- Lots of Leaves – You can’t make a compost pile out of leaves alone, but they can be a great addition to your compost pile, or a great way to get it started off. They aren’t the most nutrient-rich, so you’ll need additional matter to throw in there.
- Dead Annuals – Sure, all those beautiful flowers you planted have died off, and that’s kind of sad. But you can use those dead plants to create
- From the Ashes – You want to make sure your compost doesn’t get too clumpy – the best way to do this is dump the ashes from your fall fire pit sessions straight into you pile. Throughout the winter, empty your fireplace, pit, or any other debris from burning trash into the bin.
How Should You Get Started in Composting?
You’ve got two options to choose when it comes to composting – an open pile, or an enclosed composter. For beginners, your best bet is an enclosed composter – a compost tumbler as seen at right is cheap and easy to use. Better yet, in a urban or suburban environment, an enclosed composter keeps the various odors in check.
Once you’ve got the container, you’ll need to layer in a variety of debris and compostables. You need to look at the trash and debris in two different categories. “Green” debris is stuff like kitchen peelings and grass clippings, fresh and nutrient-rich. “Brown” debris includes leaves, twigs, and old paper. By alternating layers of green and brown debris, you can build an even mixture that will compost quickly.
Keep Your Compost Going
Over time, you’ll need to keep the compost moving. If you’ve got an open pile, you’ll need to turn it over and add debris and ash to keep it loose. That’s one of the advantages of the tumbler as seen above – no shovels or pitchforks, just turn the tumbler over a few times to blend the compost and keep it going.
Get composting now, keep up with it over the winter time, and you’ll be ready to feed your lawn and garden come spring. Doing your own compost will help you cut down on expenses, while also limiting your footprint as far as trash goes.