Compost: Crack for the Garden
Compost is crack for the garden.
(From what I've read, crack has a similar effect on the people who use it; let me say for the record that I've never tried it!)
Just as good, compost strengthens your soil and reduces your need to use synthetic fertilizers or toxic pesticides. If you're NOT using compost, why are you bothering to garden at all? Really!
WHAT EXACTLY IS COMPOST?Composting is Nature's way of turning waste into organic gold.
- Through good old-fashioned biological processes, composting converts kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other organic matter into rich and crumbly, soil-like material that attracts healthy worms, fights disease and improves the fertility of the soil.
WHY IS COMPOSTING SO GREAT?
- Composting saves money by reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers and toxic chemicals.
- Composting could save communities money, too. Yard trimmings and food waste together constitute 23 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. That's a lot of garbage to send to landfills when it could become useful and environmentally beneficial compost instead!
I compost fruit and veggie kitchen scraps in my backyard. My town picks up our fallen leaves every autumn, lets them biodegrade at a municipal site, and delivers them back to us in the spring to use as mulch on our gardens and around our bushes and trees. You can also buy ready-made compost at most hardware stores and garden centers, or online at places like Amazon (we sell some in our store here). NOTE: If you buy compost, make sure it has been made from certified organic plant sources.
YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN COMPOST
You can make compost from kitchen waste, debris from your lawn and garden, or both. You can either build your own compost pile, or buy a compost tumbler or bin. You can even get composting bags to keep on your back porch, deck or patio.
Whether you make your own or buy it, the key is to use it. To encourage more gardeners to use compost, on Earth Day, the U.S. Composting Council is launching a Million Tomato Compost Campaign, a program to build healthy soil and help bring fresh food to underserved communities and food pantries. Starting this month, members of the Council will be donating thousands of pounds of compost to community gardens to help them grow one million tomatoes in just one growing season. Nathan Lyon (co-host of PBS’ “Growing a Greener World,” and the author of the best-selling Great Food Starts Fresh, one of the Washington Post’s top 10 cookbooks of 2012) is on board to help get the word out. Here's how your community can join in.
We've combed through the offerings on Amazon to help you find supplies to get started composting at home. Here's a sample of what you'll find:
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