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Benefits of Organic Gardening and How to Build a Successful Pile.

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Presentation on theme: "Benefits of Organic Gardening and How to Build a Successful Pile."— Presentation transcript:

1 Benefits of Organic Gardening and How to Build a Successful Pile

2  Benefits of Composting  Science of Composting  Types of Composters  Short Garden Tour (Weather Permitting)  How-to: Compost  Questions?

3  Reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers.  Promote higher yields of agricultural crops.  Cost-effective  Avoids Methane and leachate formulation in landfills.  Healthier plants  Better for your body  Reduces the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides.

4 Carbon: Nitrogen Ration 30:1 (Basically, you need more brown than green) Carbon “Browns”:  Ashes, wood  Bark  Cardboard, shredded  Corn stalks  Fruit waste  Leaves  Newspaper, shredded  Peanut shells  Peat moss  Pine needles  Sawdust  Stems and twigs, shredded  Straw  Vegetable stalks

5 Nitrogen “Greens”  Alfalfa  Algae  Clover  Coffee grounds  Food waste  Garden waste  Grass clippings  Hay  Hedge clippings  Hops, used  Manures  Seaweed  Vegetable scraps  Weeds*

6  Anaerobic vs. Aerobic  Ideal temperature 135-160 degrees Fahrenheit  Too cold: slow composting, unfinished and shouldn’t be used  Too hot: nutrients will be cooked out  To keep a balanced temperature, turn at least once every two weeks  “Experience is your greatest teacher”

7  Backyard Composting  Open Bin  Closed Bin  Vermicomposting  Indoor (Kitchen) Composting

8  STEP ONE  In a rodent resistant bin, create a base of 3" - 4" or woody, brushy material to promote aeration (do not mix into pile).  STEP TWO  Alternate layers of green and brown materials; keep the layers 2" - 4" deep. Common green (nitrogen) materials are grass, food scraps (uncooked fruit and vegetables, coffee grounds, filters, tea bags and egg shells) (wet), garden trimmings. Common brown (carbon) materials are, fall leaves, straw and newspaper strips (dry). Chop up larger materials for faster decomposition.  STEP THREE  Whenever you add a food scrap layer, make sure you sprinkle it with soil and then cap off with a brown layer to prevent smells and flies.  STEP FOUR  Mix bin contents often (minimum once every two weeks). This introduces air and gets bin heating up again. Mix older materials with newer materials for faster decomposition.  STEP FIVE  Moisture content of bin should be like a wrung out dish rag. Only add water if pile is very dry after mixing.  STEP SIX  Pile will shrink. Continue to add and mix until bin is almost full. Place carpet on surface of pile to retain heat and moisture.  STEP SEVEN  Compost is generally ready to use when it looks like humus (after about two to three months). However, aging the compost for another 1 to 2 months is recommended.

9  Phone book  Spinach Leaves  Molasses for catalyst  Poke holes when you get home (if you’d like)

10  Please leave your email with us!  Like us on FB “Harris Middle School Community Garden”  Follow us on instagram “harrisgarden”  Follow us on twitter “harrisgarden”

11  Composting for Facilities Basics   ement_structures.htm ement_structures.htm  Organic Gardening Basics  101/carbon-nitrogen-ratio/ 101/carbon-nitrogen-ratio/  Guide to Composting  mpost-guide.pdf mpost-guide.pdf  Cornell Compost Science   Composting Science – Univ. of Illinois 

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