Using Your Kitchen Scraps and Landscape Trimmings to Boost Your Garden

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All those produce kitchen scraps that go down your garbage disposal or trash, as well as your landscaping trimmings, can be used as valuable compost to boost the health and productivity of your garden.

Turn scraps into valuable compost for your garden

Composting at home is a simple process. It involves taking produce scraps from your kitchen and plant trimmings from your landscaping into a composting pile that can be used to provide nutrition for your garden.

Before you begin composting

Before you start collecting your compost, you need something to collect it in. There are several ways to organize your compost. Although you can simply put it in a pile somewhere in your yard, using some type of bin is a better way to keep the process neat and limit odors.

Tumbler composters make the process easier when it comes to both unloading and unloading.

Dual bin tumblers allow you to compile raw materials in one bin while composting in the other.

Lastly, Minot Daily News advises to always check with your municipality first when it comes to composting, as some have restrictions on the type of bins that are acceptable.

Rule of thumb with kitchen scraps

The first source for your compost pile will be kitchen scraps. However, only choose those that are raw, free from meat, dairy or fats. These will only attract insects and rodents into your garden.

In other words, most likely you’re only going to use raw produce you trim away when creating your home meals or recipes, as well as unused produce that may be starting to rot in your refrigerator.

Rule of thumb with landscaping trimmings

You don’t want to use all the landscaping trimmings from around your yard. You only want plant debris that is disease-free and insect-free. You also don’t want any invasive plants or perennial weeds that can survive composting and regenerate in your garden, as well as no weeds that have gone to seed.

How to begin composting

Start your pile by creating a layer with your garden trimmings, and build it up about 8-10 inches. If you want to speed things up, you can top it with a sprinkle of fertilizer, soil or compost. Keep repeating this process until you have a pile roughly 3 feet tall. Moisten until it has the consistency of a damp sponge.

Speeding up the process

In your pile or bin, you want to turn it frequently in a way that will move the more decomposed materials that are in the center toward the outside, and the last decomposed outside material into the center.

You can also speed up the process by adding a bit of fertilizer, mixing in nitrogen and carbon-rich plant debris, as well as topping it with soil or already formed compost.

Other things that will speed up the process are adding fruit wastes, vegetable clippings, manure, brown corn stocks, straw, fall leaves, and herbicide-free grass clippings.

However, if you don’t want to go through all this, you don’t have to. Composting is a process that takes time. All your plant waste will eventually decompose courtesy of the effects of nature such as weather, insects, and microorganisms.

When is your compost ready?

When your pile turns brown and crumbly – it’s ready. From there, take your finished compost and work it into your garden beds or into your potting mix is for containers. In the garden, spread a one-inch layer over the soil surface of perennial gardens. Do this every other year.