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Saving Green with A Green Thumb: Starting Your Own Garden Compost

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

Looking for a great way to live a little greener while also saving a little green? Why not save a few bucks by starting your own composting system this season, instead of buying pre-made fertilized potting soil? Starting your own family compost is a great way to get your family involved in recycling and re-utilizing the remnants of your meals, just like you already do your plastics, cans, and paper goods. Will a little research and initiative, you'll be able to keep your green thumb going all year round..

First you'll need to pick the proper compost bin for your living arrangements. Honestly, as long as you have the space, a big old Tupperware tub with holes drilled into the lid, sides, and bottom is the perfect, cheap and easy solution! You can utilize smaller, space saving options or, even, garbage bags; though bags don't tend to seal out odors as well.

Next, before you start your composting, do a little bit of research to figure out the perfect amount of ingredient that will work for you. Composting isn't as easy as throwing all of your food scraps into a heap and waiting for fertilizer. You'll need to include enough brown, dry material in with your fresh, green material as possible. The compost needs matching levels of carbon and nitrogen; keeping your food stuffs from rotting too quickly/complete and allowing your compost to also break down in a timely manor. Adding a cup of Lime and a tablespoon of high nitrogen fertilizer per bag of compost will help keep your compost in check. Add a quart of water once your mix is complete and you're ready to let your compost stew.

You'll need to be patient with you compost and be willing to wait until your mixture has seasoned just right. Depending on the ingredients included in your mix, the compost may take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to completely decompose properly. Your best bet is starting your compost with next season in mind. As time goes on, and you continue your composting, you should always have fertilized material ready and available as you head into each of your planting seasons.

Long Island Green Living Articles > Saving Green with A Green Thumb: Starting Your Own Garden Compost

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