Benefits of Composting
Composting is the most practical and convenient way to handle your yard wastes. It can be easier and cheaper than bagging these wastes or taking them to the recycling center. Most importantly compost improves your soil and the plants growing in it. If you have a garden, a lawn, trees, shrubs, or even planter boxes, you have a use for compost. By using compost you return organic matter to the soil in a usable form. This organic matter returned to the soil improves plant growth by helping to break up heavy clay soils and improving their structure, by adding water and nutrient-holding capacity to sandy soils, and by adding essential nutrients to any soil. Improving your soil is the first step toward improving the health of your plants. Additionally, healthy plants help clean our air and conserve our soil, making our communities healthier places in which to live.
–Improves soil structure and nutrient holding capacity
-Reduces soil compaction and crusting and fertilizer requirements
-Increases ease of cultivation and protects plants from disease
-Improves root growth and yields and water infiltration and drought tolerance
-Increases microbial and earthworm populations
-Prevents erosion of embankments, roadsides, and hillsides.
-Diverts organics from landfills into compost, reducing waste burden and methane production.
Composting Options at Boone Gardiner
Single bin units are low maintenance, and are good choice for those with limited space, such as apartment dwellers. These units are considered to be passive and do not require turning; however the lack of aeration causes the composting process to take 6 months to 2 years. This is also an appropriate option to create leafmould from trees in your lawn. Please speak with a Boone Gardiner Green Team Representative about how we can construct one for your home.
Vermicomposting is unique because it uses food scraps only, and no yard waste. It is ideal for people with very small yards, or no yard. Worm composting bins can be made in any size or can be purchased. A successful worm bin will not smell, can be harvested every few months and can be kept indoors or outdoors.
Multi-bin system is a series of three or more bins that allows wastes to be turned on a regular schedule. Turning units are most appropriate for gardeners with a large volume of yard waste and the desire to make a high-quality compost. Turning units produce compost faster because they supply oxygen to the bacteria in the pile. These units may also have less odor problems, which are associated with poor aeration. These units can also be constructed by the Boone Gardiner Garden Green Team.
Tumbler units are self-contained barrels that rotate for easy mixing and fast decomposition. They are more convenient because they are easier to turn. These bins are fine for small spaces and are usually animal resistant. These can be purchased at the Boone Gardiner Garden Center.
Sheet composting can be done in the fall. With this method, a thin layer of materials such as leaves (that have not been composted) are worked into the garden. By spring, the material will be broken down. The decomposition process ties up soil nitrogen, making it unavailable to other plants. Because of this, sheet composting should only be done in the fall when the garden is fallow.
Trench composting is useful if time isn’t a consideration. Organic material are buried in holes 8-15 inches deep, and then covered with soil dug from the hole. Decomposition takes about a year, as limited oxygen slows the process. It is recommended to avoid planting that area for a year, as the nitrogen available to plants may be limited by the decomposition process.
Contact the Boone Gardiner Green Team at 502.243.3832 to learn more about how to begin composting in your home