Composting Composting is the transformation of organic material (plant matter) through decomposition into a soil-like material called compost. Invertebrates (insects and earthworms), and microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) help in this transformation.
Why do it Environmentally responsible Keeps biodegradable waste out of landfills and sewage plants Alternative to burning Gives you a vibrant garden without chemical fertilizers Saves money Learning tool
What it involves Adding ingredients Maintaining proper temperature Turning Maintaining moisture Harvesting
Care of compost Passive Let sit Takes months and months Active Turn often Keep moist (H 2 O 40-60% of weight) Have proper ratio of C:N (30:1) 2-6 weeks (depending on ingredients)
Let’s get real ConcernsSolutions I don’t have roomUse commercial bin It takes too long Maintain proper conditions Cut up large pieces It smellsNot if you maintain C:N ratio Temps too low to kill diseases, fungi, weed seeds Use local community composting facility for problem pieces, compost the rest Attracts animalsBury food waste in center
Uses Early stages as mulch Keeps weeds from growing Helps retain moisture Beneficial minerals go into soil Later stages for soil amending Enriches soil Helps with moisture retention Removes/reduces need for chemical fertilizers that leach into our ground water
What method is right for me??? How much space do I have? Is it indoor or outdoor or both? What do I want to compost? How much waste do I have a week? How and where do I want to use the compost? How much time can I spend on it a week? What’s my ewww! factor? How committed am I to composting?
Resources Purdue Extension office Library Internet
composting BinTumblerPailSheetVermiAnaerobic Just do it!