Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Two Quick Composting Methods for the Home Vegetable Garden

You won`t find too many more natural ways to improve the nutrients in your soil then compost. The result of organic material breaking down, compost will add much needed, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous and calcium (as well as other nutrients) to your soil. The best part, composting is easier than you think.

There are a variety of composting methods you can choose from. Which one you decide on usually results in the space and time you have available. The most common types are trench composting and a compost pile. Both work great and have their advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s start with trench composting. This is the act of, as you might guess, digging a trench, throwing in your organic material and then covering that material up with dirt. I use this technique a lot. It’s easy to do, and I consider it the “lazy” man’s style of composting. Why lazy? Because all you have to do is bury the material and let the environment do all of the work. The disadvantage of this method is you may not be able to bury all of your grass clippings, fallen leaves and so on. They would just take up too much space. Items most commonly used in trench composting are your food leftovers, coffee grinds and tea bags to name a few.

If you have the space, and it doesn’t take much, start a compost pile. This is where you will pile up all of your organic material and simply let nature break it down for you. Items that you can throw into your pile are wood ash, grass clippings, leaves, twigs, coffee grinds and filters. Avoid throwing food leftovers into your pile. It could attract rodents, other animals and unwanted insects. The disadvantages of a compost pile are space requirements and the extra work load you will have when it comes time to turn the pile over.

If you do absolutely nothing to the organic material being used, both methods take some time to have that material breakdown. If you would like to speed up the process you can grind up the material in a lawn chipper/shredder. Making the items smaller will help make things breakdown quicker.

There is no right or wrong method to use. Which one you choose will be right for your situation. Just remember to use only organic material, avoid meats and bones and remember you aren’t burying your trash, but your leftover organic material.

About the Author
Michael C. Podlesny is the administrator for the largest Vegetable Gardening page on Facebook.

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