Composting is a landscapers secret weapon to getting the best-growing plants. There is a lot that goes into getting the best compost like finding the best spot to put it, using the right materials, and patience. In this blog, we will go over the steps to take to get yourself started on composting.
Pick the Perfect Compost Bin
Choosing a between a bin and a pile is the first step to composting. While a bin keeps everything together and neat, a compost pile is easier to add things into.
An open pile is exactly what it sounds like, a heap of compost on the ground. You are able to turn it, aerate it, and add more to the pile as it decomposes. To cover the pile, you can use a tarp which will lock in heat and control moisture or you can let it sit there to decompose uncovered.
There are a few different styles you can purchase or make yourself for composting bins. This is a great way to contain the compost and keep the decomposing material neat.
- Tumbling Composter: a rotating bin that you can mix up the contents from a center axle.
- Multi-Bin Composter: have multiple composts, at different stages, going at once.
- Wooden Composter: easy to make yourself and easy to turn the compost.
Where Should I Put the Compost Bin or Pile?
You need to choose a location that is flat, in the sun, and can drain properly. Keep in mind that the location you choose should be convenient for you. If you choose the backyard, are you prepared to walk outside in the cold to get to it?
What Goes into The Compost?
You can choose through a long list of materials to add into your compost, but to name a few:
- Dried leaves and grass clippings
- Paper egg cartons
- Coffee filters
- Shredded brown paper bags
Maintain Your Compost
Throughout the process, you need to continually add layers to your compost. Save any kitchen waste in plastic containers on the counter, under the sink, or in your freezer. Whenever you add food or yard waste into the compost, make sure you top it. Here are some steps to follow:
- Mix in new materials with lower layers.
- Ring-out materials always keep the moisture as wet as a wrung-out If materials are too dry, you should add water to reach the moisture level of the rest of the contents.
- Mix or turn compost once a week, this will help with the breakdown process and will eliminate odor.
What Do You Do with Your Compost?
There are a few different uses for your hard-earned compost:
- Mulch: if you use your compost as a moisture holding mulch, then you can use it just like regular mulch. Spread the compost around trees, plants, shrubs, lawn, and your garden.
- Soil: you can also use the compost as a soil amendment. Dig 2 to 4 inches down and put the compost in there, mix the rest of the soil when you decide to plant.
- Compost tea: this is the liquid that is released from compost that sometimes happens naturally, or by steeping a shovel full of compost into a bucket for a few days. You can take the tea and pour it over plants and flowers.
- Lawn top dressing: apply the dressing anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of the lawn and then rake it in, and it will work its way into the soil as the grass grows.
Are you planning to use compost for your garden this summer? You put the time into composting, and Dolan Landscaping will put the time into creating the garden of your dreams. Our highly skilled hardscaping crew will begin with a plan that will achieve all of your landscaping goals for your next project. Contact us today!