If you're a gardener but you don't yet compost, now is a great time to start. Composting is beneficial both to you and the environment, and it's simple to do once you learn the basics. Essentially, composting is a practice that accelerates the natural process of decomposition. It involves recycling organic materials, such as vegetable scraps and leaves, to put nutrients back into the soil and grow healthier and better-looking plants. While you can certainly go out and buy a bag of compost, you'll find that taking on a DIY compost pile project saves money and is a great way to responsibly recycle organic waste.

DIY: How to Make Your Own Compost Pile

To start, find a container or bin in which you can place composting waste. Homestead Gardens offers both counter- top and outdoor solutions to better meet your space needs. If you're looking for a fast and efficient solution, consider a Tumbling Composter, which is designed to speed up the composting process and provide you with nutrient-rich soil. 

Once you have the perfect bin or pail, the next step is to layer your green and brown materials. Green materials include vegetable and fruit peelings, flowers, grass clippings and weeds. Brown materials usually include dead or fallen leaves, pieces of cardboard, coffee grounds, straw and hay. Keep in mind when adding organic waste to your bin that the more green materials there are, the better the results. 

Maintenance

As the materials start to decompose, it is a good idea to mix the pile with a pitchfork or shovel to promote air circulation. Aeration is an essential component of composting, so you'll want to repeat this step throughout the process. 

You already throw away fruit and vegetable scraps, dead leaves and grass trimmings – why not throw them away in a bin outdoors? This simple change can boost your garden and help you grow great produce for years to come. Stop by Homestead Gardens to find containers and more great composting solutions, and our knowledgeable staff can help answer any questions you might have before getting started. 

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