A Composting Guide for the Home Gardener
How It Works
What To Use
The Finished Product
A Bevy of Bins
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Welcome to COMPOSTING101.com, a primer on the making and using of compost. Here, you'll find all you need to know to start making nature's perfect soil amendment. Want to learn even more about composting? Go to COMPOSTERconnection.com for detailed information and inside tips from successful composters. Want to skip the course and get started now? Visit Planet Natural for our complete line of composting bins, tumblers and equipment.
The Dirt on Composting
When I was a little kid I was always intrigued by the alchemists -- those medieval scientists desperately trying to turn lead into gold. Alchemists never succeeded, but you can turn yard and kitchen scraps into "gardener's gold" by composting.
Montana, where I live, has a shorter than short growing season that's more attuned to cultivating tundra than growing tomatoes. The season is so short that many experienced growers purchase products for indoor gardening, like grow lights, to get a jump on Mother Nature. I know a woman who tried for years to grow decent tasting tomatoes. They always turned out puny, mealy and well, not very good! In other words, tomatoes only their cultivator could love. Last year, she picked up some fertilizers and finally decided to mix some organic compost into her soil for a little extra umph. It worked so well that they grew big and beautiful and caught the attention of someone who actually stole the crop out of the woman's back yard. The gal was so miffed she actually filed a police report about it!
Sure, it won't guarantee the best vegetables, fruit or flowers -- ones that are so good that they will attract the attention of thieves -- but it certainly can help make up for all kinds of plant deficiencies by improving your garden soil. Adding it is a smart way to boost plant health and, while you can buy the stuff, making your own compost is beneficial to you, your plants and the environment at large. At the same time it helps your garden, it also helps your environment by reducing the amount of organic material that literally goes to waste (and becomes waste) in your local landfill. Composting can reduce yard waste that needs to be hauled to the dump by anywhere from 50 to 75% (see Benefits Beyond the Bin).
So, yes, compost is gold to gardeners, particularly those of us who valiantly try to grow plants under tough soil and growing conditions (see You Grow Girl). If you're visiting this site, you probably have an interest in compost, but still need some information. Here I've collected the compost curriculum: all you need to know to get started. Enjoy!
Author's note: If you find this site to be useful, please consider adding a link to http://www.composting101.com/.
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