Get out your gardening gloves — May 29 is National Learn About Composting Day! We all want to do our part to conserve natural resources and reduce our carbon footprint. Composting is not only an environmentally safe fertilizer but it can help you save water, energy, fuel, and money! It also keeps toxins from getting in our run-off and groundwater through the use of chemical- based commercial fertilizers. The use of a natural fertilizer made from compost will make your garden hospitable to wildlife helpers like honeybees, hummingbirds and of course, worms!
So, what it compost? Compost is organic matter that has decomposed. In a garden, decomposition is a good thing! Compost can be made from kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, newspapers, leaves wood chips, coffee grinds — almost any food products except for processed foods (no Twinkies in the compost!) and meat or fish products. Composting saves resources, and because of its high nutrient content, it adds to soil stability and reduces soil disease. It will help your garden grow lush and promote healthy growth in seedlings and plants. It’s for all these reasons gardeners call compost “black gold”. Composting allows you to accomplish the big environmental three: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
You know what’s irritating? The cost of potting soil, and the smell of rotting vegetables in your garbage can. In fact, it’s also irritating that there’s no good use for eggshells or old coffee grounds, or is there? All of these ingredients (and much more!) can be added to a compost bin to create a delightful and nutrient rich mulch that can go into our gardens! Not only will it reduce the amount of food waste in your house, it will also give you a way to enrich your garden through composting! Learn About Composting Day is dedicated to spreading information and awareness about this fun, green, and money-saving activity!
History of Learn About Composting Day
Who would have thought that the waste from your kitchen could turn into rich nutrients for the food in your backyard? Learn About Composting Day shows you how those ingredients (and more things you may be surprised to learn about!) can help accelerate your garden by filling it with nutrient rich mulch! Tired of raking leaves from your front yard and bagging them up for garbage day? Wish there was something you could do with all those newspapers once you’re done reading them? You can! These can all go into your composting bin!
For those who don’t know, composting is the practice of taking certain types of waste that occur in our homes every day, and putting them into a compost bin to steadily decompose. With the right mixture of ingredients, which can range from wood ash, to grass clipping, eggshells, even hair and fur, you can create a powerful and rich nutrient mix that will have your plants growing bigger than ever!
All you have to do is create a simple compost bin, or just a pile of organic material, and come out to stir it once a month with a shovel. During the winter you only have to turn it over every three or four weeks, since it doesn’t have the heat from the sun to speed decomposition.
How to celebrate Learn About Composting Day
Well, it all starts by either starting a composting pile, or for those of us who like to keep things orderly, a composting bin. Composting bins can really be made from just about anything that doesn’t decay, especially if it’s made from dark material to take advantage of the sun’s rays. All you need to do is pile in your waste from your home and be sure to turn it regularly and check it for appropriate moisture. If a handful of it doesn’t feel like a wrung-out sponge, it’s time to add more water. When it’s done, it should have a mulchy, earthy smell, and you can mix it in anywhere you like!