When imagining one’s ideal home, the image is often accompanied by picturesque landscaping in the form of beautiful trees and manicured lawns. Unfortunately, attractively kept yards are often the result of chemicals that can be hard on the environment and they are typically difficult to maintain. In addition, the landscape design cost can add up. Composting is a method of creating a beautiful outdoor environment in a more natural way. In fact, composting is an accelerated process that mimics nature’s own process of recycling.
When families compost they, like nature, are recycling certain organic materials, which then enrich the soil. This “recycling” is actually the decomposition of organic materials such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, paper, and even food scraps. Unlike nature, people who choose to compost must use a system to accomplish this in a timely manner that is also as sanitary as possible. There are two primary types of composting that people may choose from: backyard composting and worm composting. When worm composting, which is also known as vermicomposting, people use worms to break down the scraps. Worms do this by consuming the organic scraps that are put in the bin. After they have chewed up or consumed the organic materials, they expel it as their waste. This waste material is what is used for compost. Vermicomposting can be accomplished indoors or in small spaces and is ideal for people who live in apartments or who do not have a lot of yard space.
As its name would suggest, backyard composting takes place in one’s yard. It may be accomplished in a bin, in a caged off area, or even in a garbage can. Organic waste is divided into “browns” and “greens” which are alternately piled into the bin or a caged off area. Browns are carbon sources and include branches, straw, wood chips, sawdust, etc. Greens are sources of nitrogen and include hair, lint, manure from herbivore farm animals, dead houseplants, egg shells, and coffee grounds, to name a few. The compost should be kept damp and turned regularly to keep it aerated and odors down. When it is ready, it will look and smell very similar to rich, dark dirt.
Compost can be used in a number of ways. It may be used in landscaping such as lawns, shrubs, and trees. Flower and vegetable gardens can benefit from the addition of compost as well. Vegetable gardens and fruit trees, for example, that have had the benefit of compost, tend to produce healthier vegetables and fruit that are free of the chemicals found in fertilizers. When it comes to one’s landscape, compost offers numerous benefits. Weeds, for example, can distract from the beauty of one’s lawn and can be a nuisance in terms of their removal. Compost helps to control the growth of weeds by cutting off the light that is needed for their survival and growth. The high amount of organic material found in compost improves the condition of the soil so that plants grow healthier and more easily. Compost also improves water retention and aggregates formed by compost help to improve the structure of every soil type. Another benefit to using compost when landscaping is that any soil borne pathogens are greatly suppressed and macronutrients supply plants and grass with many of the nutrients they need. As a result, the use of fertilizer is greatly decreased. Because one is using compost, the cost of lawn maintenance in terms of fertilizer and other additives is also reduced if not eliminated.
Composting is a natural and safe way to obtain a beautiful outdoor environment. Not only will homeowners be pleased with the healthy appearance of their landscape, but they will also reap the rewards of using an environmentally safe process to do so. Although the process of creating compost can take some effort and time, people often find that the results are worth it. From lawns to flowers to vegetable gardens, composting is one of the most beneficial things that a person can do for their outdoor environment.
Click on any of the following links to read more about composting.
- Using Compost in Your Landscape
- Environmental Benefits
- Compost Benefits & Uses
- The Benefits of Using Compost in your Garden
- Using Compost to Establish New Landscapes
- Sustainable Landscaping
- How to Choose a Compost Bin
- How to Compost
- Composting at Home
- Homeowners’ Composting Guide
- Compost for Healthy Soil and Plants
- Using Compost in the Garden and Landscape
- Composting Yard Waste at Home: Feed the Landscape Not the Landfill
- Composting Methods
- Basic Composting
- Composting Benefits for Landscapers
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