If youíve never had a composting system before or you have moved from a home that had a previously set-up compost in the yard and moved to one that does not, it may seem a little daunting to plan making a new one. A new composting system doesnít have to be a high tech endeavor however, they can be as simple or complex as you want to make them.
There are many composters on the market that you can buy premade; they are often made from plastic, wood, or wire. Some prefabricated compost bins can easily be turned due to their shape or having a frame that they sit on with an axis to be turned periodically. Many are stationary and must be turned by hand when the time comes. It is, however, quite easy to build a compost in your yard out of two by fours or recycled wooden pallets as well.
Using either a prefabricated or a do-it-yourself composter will give you similar results: less organic waste ending up in your garbage plus some really great loamy soil at the end of the whole process. If you are looking for nice rich soil fairly quickly, itís best to use a method called active composting where you pay attention to the ratio of carbon to nitrogen in your compost and turn it regularly; this system is more labor intensive and requires more know-how to get a good result.
An easier way to compost is with a passive method; this method is perfect for beginner composters or those of us who just donít like the idea of turning piles of rotting produce scraps with a shovel on a semi-regular basis. A passive-method composting system is easy but takes a lot longer to transform kitchen and yard scraps into soil; the trade off for this type of system that it doesnít really take any care to get this result. Basically all you will need to do is set up your composter in your yard in an area that doesnít get too much sun and throw a mixture of raw kitchen scraps, grass clippings, shredded leaves, and even shredded paper. Make sure that youíre using mostly organic kitchen scraps to ensure that youíre not putting too much nitrogen into your system.
You can purchase red wiggler worms to hasten the decomposition of debris in your compost if you so desire but it isnít really necessary; bacteria in your compost pile will break the scraps and waste down and worms will naturally end up in the pile as well through the soil underneath it.
Donít be afraid of starting a new compost pile at your new home; take time to stake out a good area in the backyard away from the house and away from any areas that your neighbors might object to due to odors. By next year, you should have some great homemade soil to enrich your garden and really make your plants thrive!
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