by Tammy Taylor~
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Any gardener knows that compost is ‘Black Gold’. It’s invaluable to your garden, helping your plants grow strong & healthy using an all-natural fertilizer. I plant a veggie garden every year and of course that black gold is incorporated into each planting hole. There are some tricks to making a ready-to-use compost for your garden. But for those just starting out, there’s often some hesitation.
You’re rotting things in a pile, doesn’t that stink?
The answer is: No! Well actually, yes and no – the result depends on you.
Composting Is Eco-Friendly
I began composting decades ago because I became incredibly intrigued that things normally thrown away could actually help my garden grow better. You know, apple cores, potato peelings, coffee grounds. The environmental side of me was excited that ‘Trash‘ can actually be helpful. I’m in!
Back in those days I just made a small open-ended enclosure with a leftover piece of welded wire fencing. I read up on what should and should not be placed in a compost pile and started piling it in. I learned to add torn up cardboard, dried leaves and such for my ‘browns’ and fresh grass clippings, apple cores & more for my ‘greens’. Left to its own devices all those things will eventually break down into compost all by itself. But that time is significantly sped up with proper green/brown material balance, moisture & frequent turning.
Compost Needs To Be Turned Regularly
But I was lazy in turning it regularly. Plus several years ago when we moved out here into the country I worried about critters being attracted to my compost pile. So I bought this *tumbling composter and I never looked back. The tumbling action of the composter speeds up the process and the enclosed barrel also helps assure critters can’t get to it & any odors are better contained.
I’ve written before about Easy composting for a healthy garden. So if you’re wondering what you should and shouldn’t add to your compost be sure to check it out.
(Spoiler Alert: There’s not much you can’t add to compost!)
But remember you don’t need a compost tumbler to keep your compost from smelling bad. If your compost starts to smell it just means something is out of balance. Maybe you’re not turning it frequently enough to keep the moisture properly distributed. More than likely it’s too wet or has too many ‘greens in the mix’. To re-balance your browns & greens you can add some shredded paper or cardboard and give it all a stir until the balance is restored and any offending odor is removed. You’re looking for a nice, earthy smell, not a rotting tomato smell! LOL
So don’t be afraid to take that leap. Your compost heap, properly balanced, won’t smell like rotting produce at all. Instead it will smell delightfully of deep, rich planting soil. And your garden plants will thank you many times over!
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