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How to Create High Quality Compost in Less Than 5 Weeks

It doesn’t matter if you’re a gardening novice trying to supplement your dinner table with some home-grown veggies or an entrepreneur that earns a living off the land, composting is a simple way to go green and help save the environment.

You don’t have to be an environmentalist to compost, either. Compost, which is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled and used for fertilizing soil, is great for your garden and helps reduce landfill waste. In addition, composting in your home garden will help you save money.

Consider These Tips to Get Started on Composting

• Composting is a natural form of recycling, so use food waste, grass clippings, coffee grounds and even paper as compost. Just be sure to shred the paper first to speed up the process.

• Start your compost pile in a convenient spot, and make sure it is semi-shaded and well-drained.

• Add bulking agents such as wood chips to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials, allowing the finished material to fully stabilize and mature through a curing process. Add leaves, straw, or hay along with grass clippings or green manures for plenty of bulk. Each layer should be no more than two inches so that the grass clippings or leaves don’t get matted down to form a layer impermeable to air.

• Keep the compost moist. Either water it yourself or let rain take care of it. The compost should be moist, but not soaked.

• Cover the compost pile to help retain moisture and heat. This will also help prevent the compost from being over-watered by the rain.

• Turn the compost pile with a shovel or a fork to aerate the pile. It is important to water the pile as you turn it as well. Turning the pile adds oxygen to the compost which is necessary to get the most out of your pile.

• Once you add the compost to your garden, you’ll be ready to start planting in two to five weeks!

For more information visit MarkhamFarm.com.

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