“Composting 101 for Maximum Garden Results!”
Compost is basically decayed plant and vegetable material which is generally used as a fertilizer. Composting is the process to create compost. Here you will find what we call Composting 101 and steps to make compost!
Composting is on the top three “to do” list for all gardeners, especially for organic gardeners! Composting 101 is very easy and can be accomplished with little effort. You can even do community composting!
You don’t need any special bin to create compost and it can be accomplished by piling layers of nitrogen and carbon sources on top of each other along with regular watering. To keep animals, like dogs, out of your compost pile it is advisable to put a fence around the compost pile.
Composting 101 says you can compost any vegetable scrap coming out of your kitchen. Most of your kitchen scraps are considered nitrogen sources.
Carbon sources would be things like paper, leaves, and straw.
“Wood chips and sawdust are carbon sources, but due to amount of nitrogen it takes to break these carbon products down it is highly recommended to avoid all wood products!”
There are many materials you don’t want to compost such as meats, dairy products, ash, and any yard trimmings treated with pesticides. Also black walnut tree leaves & twigs you don’t want to compost as they contain some natural substances that are harmful to many plants.
You start your compost pile by picking a place that gets full sun. Add about 3″ of carbon products. On top of that add about 3″ of nitrogen products. Repeat this process until your pile is as high as you want. We prefer to make compost piles about 4 – 5′ high and as the material decomposes the pile will shrink to about 2-1/2′ high.
Water the pile with a hose or watering can thoroughly. If you live in a dry climate such as Colorado, Utah, or Arizona it’s recommended you use something to cover the entire top, not the sides, of your compost pile such as an old cotton blanket or a piece of carpet. If you plan to use a piece of plastic as a cover poke a handful of 1″ breathing holes in the plastic. You want to compost pile to breath.
“We build custom compost bins on-site. Contact The Bird Man to schedule a visit and get composting now!”
Keep your compost pile moist at all times. Not dripping wet, but moist like your garden soil. Every week turn the top two thirds of the compost pile with a pitch fork. Water the pile again and cover if needed. If you find the pile is too dry add water more often. If you find the compost pile to be too wet you may have to shed more rain from the top and sides of the pile.
While turning the compost pile the compost should be warm. If there is not heat it is either too dry or does not get enough sun. Composting should create a lot of heat. In 2-4 weeks your compost should end up with what we refer to as Black Gold – the perfect fertilizer for any garden.
Composting 101 not just for advanced gardeners it should be practiced by every gardener. It is a great free source of high quality fertilizer.
“Composting 101 – What to Compost?”
Below is a list of what you can and can’t compost broken up into Carbon & Nitrogen materials:
NOTE: Wile wood chips will compost or break down, it is recommended you not put them in your compost pile because they take an excessive amount of nitrogen to decompose.
What customers are saying about The Bird Man:
“I always thought composting was what people did to save money, that is until I took a seminar called Composting 101 with The Bird Man! I had no idea how much money I was wasting on expensive ineffective fertilizer as compared to making compost. The Bird Man made us a three partition compost bin and showed us how easy it is to compost.”
Bill & Jill – Larkspur, CO
“We hired The Bird Man to show us how we could make our garden better. Composting 101 was the first thing we learned along with the benefits of composting. The Bird Man showed my husband how to make a compost bin and after about two months we had some beautiful black gold compost fertilizer. Thanks to The Bird Man our garden is now better than ever!”
Jeff & Cindy – Oxnard, CA