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Video:Tips for Composting

with Dallas Chapman

Composting waste is an easy and organic way to bring nutrients to your garden and yard. Learn the basics of composting and a few tips on how to obtain a healthy compost bin in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Composting

Hi I'm Dallas Chapman for About.com. I'm here today to give you tips on composting.

What Does Composting Do?

Composting is great because it eliminates a huge part of your waste and it also brings nutrients to your garden, plants, bushes, and trees. A healthy compost is an important ingredient in organic farming!

How to Start a Compost

To start a compost, I suggest you getting a bucket or a small type of container  that you can keep somewhere in your kitchen. Try getting a container that is covered  to avoid attracting flies and to prevent odors from spreading. This container should be the liaison from your kitchen to your outdoor compost pile, and should be emptied and cleaned often.

What Can You Put In a Compost?

The things you can add to your compost can be divided by two groups. The " greens" includes manure, grass cuttings, vegetable and fruit scraps, old flowers, coffee grounds and filter paper, tea bags, and egg shells. This group brings nitrogen and moisture to the pile and is quick to rot.

The second list of things that can be added to your compost is called the "browns" and includes cardboard, paper and shredded newspaper, fallen leaves, sawdust and twigs. This group brings carbon to your compost pile and slower the rotting process. Chicken manure is excellent for compost, it brings rich nutrients to the mix and it is high in acidity.

Items That Should Never be Added to a Compost

The things that should never be added to compost are meat, fish, processed food, dairy products, diseased plants and weeds with seeded heads, lemons since they are too acidic and pine needles for the same reason but also since they are high in resin. Cat and dog feces cannot be added since they would attract pests and spread diseases into your pile.

How to Compost

If your compost is uncovered don't just throw your food scraps on top. This will attract pest and other animals. Instead, dig a whole in the middle of the pile about 10 inches deep, and pour your food scraps in there. This will helpcontain  the disintegration process.

You can contain your compost pile a few different ways. You can fence it in with wood or wire, and you can either put a lid on it or not.

To have a healthy compost you should consider these 4 important tips. You need good air circulation, humidity, a good management of what you add to your compost and you need to have a good balance of acidity and carbon. 

If you pile doesn't heat enough you need to add acidity, so try adding green wastes. Remember these are your grass cutting/ food scraps category. If your compost is too humid, compensate by adding Brown wastes, this is the cardboard and fallen leafs group. And if your compost smells like rotten eggs it's because it needs to breathe, so turn it around and mix it a little.

What to Do with Composted Material

When your compost finally reaches its final phase of decomposition , it should look and feel like a healthy. No too humid, not too dry that has a pleasant earthy smell to it. Spread it in your garden, in your plants, bushes, and around trees. Compost helps keep the water in the ground and provides living plants with tons of nutrients. 

Hope this will help! Thanks for watching, and for more information please visit us at About.com

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