Composting Ideas
and How to Compost

Composting ideas and learning how to make compost with the correct ratio of nitrogen to carbon helps you to create healthy soil which is essential for growing a garden. 

Basic easy composting ideas and "organic" pest control methods will also help you to avoid poisoning yourself and your environment.

You'll want to avoid using any type of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides!

Common garden pests can be controlled with the use of beneficial insects such as the Ladybug.  Ladybugs like to eat garden pests like aphids.

Also, when you learn to create a great compost and healthy soil, your garden will thrive with less pests, weeds, and disease!

How to Compost - The Basics

Compost is used to fertilize and improve your soil.  The organic matter you add to compost will provide the food for microorganisms which helps to keep soil in a healthy balanced state. 

These microbes will be responsible for breaking down your compost and they will need a balanced diet of nitrogen and carbon.

Nitrogen comes from materials such as fruit peelings, grass clippings, fresh hay, manure, meat, bones, and vegetable scraps.

Carbon comes from materials such as dead leaves, straw, wood chips, and shredded paper products.

There should be a balanced ratio of nitrogen materials to carbon materials and using materials free of harmful chemicals is also advised.

In general, a finished compost should be 30 carbon to 1 nitrogen.


Composting Ideas:  How to Compost with
The Right Ratio of Carbon to Nitrogen

How to make compost with the right ratio of carbon to nitrogen may become very confusing until you understand the percentages of carbon to nitrogen in your compost materials.

You see just because something is considered high in carbon doesn't mean that it won't also be a source of nitrogen and vice versa.

Nitrogen Rich Materials

Kitchen & Vegetable Scraps:  20 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen

Grass Clippings:  10 - 15 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen

Manure from Farm Animals:  5 - 10 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen

Carbon Rich Materials

Dry Leaves:  60 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen

Paper Products:  100 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen

Wood Chips & Shredded Cardboard:  300 parts carbon to 1 nitrogen

I have to say that this is just a general list of how much carbon and nitrogen may be in certain materials.  For example, the more fiber found in vegetable scraps the higher the carbon count will be. 

Vegetable scraps usually range from 25 - 60 parts of carbon to 1 nitrogen.  And root vegetables can be as high as 100 to 1.

According to this video, you could mix 1 handful of vegetable scraps (rich in nitrogen) with 1 handful of dried leaves (rich in carbon) to get a good balance of carbon to nitrogen.

Or mix 2 handfuls of vegetable scraps with 1 handful of shredded newspaper to get a good balance.

Or you could mix 3 handfuls of vegetable scraps with 1 handful of wood chips to get close to a ratio of 30 to 1.

Simple Composting Ideas:  Whenever you add nitrogen rich materials into your compost, you must balance the nitrogen with carbon rich materials.

In addition to the correct carbon to nitrogen ratio, you must have a good balance of beneficial micro-organisms.  You must also aerate your compost pile to keep your compost pile aerobic which helps it to smell better.

Be sure there is enough moisture in your compost pile.  You can do this by adding water to your compost with your garden hose. 

Great composting ideas like shredding or using smaller pieces of material will help your compost to finish quicker.


How Healthy is Your Soil?

The whole reason that people put the time into making compost or searching for composting ideas is to end up with a healthy soil.

Healthy soil should resemble the color of a 70% cocoa chocolate bar.

Also, there must be enough active soil biology to grow healthy and productive plants that feed the animals as well as the people.

Would you like to have your soil or compost tested for it's active biology (soil food web)?

Then please visit this website - www.TheLifeofSoil.com

Did you know that when you have the right balance of active biology in your soil, this will cut down on weed growth, garden pests, and disease?

More Composting Ideas

Your compost will decompose the fastest at a temperature between 110 to 160 degrees F.  Keeping your compost in direct sunlight will help aid this process.

However, do not let your compost get higher than 170 degrees F. or there may be a fire!

Aerating your compost will help to keep it at a safe temperature which can be accomplished by either using a tumbler or a handy garden tool.

Your compost will shrink by at least half in size while decomposing and when your compost is ready it should have a rich dark color.

Learning how to compost is a great replacement for using synthetic fertilizers and is a much more "organic" way to feed your plants.

Also, traditional farmers tend to believe that the use of synthetic fertilizers encourages bug infestation.

Insects are much like scavengers and are attracted to unhealthy plants.

Healthy plants can ward off many adverse conditions when planted in nutrient rich soil.

Easy Composting Ideas
with Wood Chips

Wood chips are a great way to make compost, but it may take a little time.  And it is a great way to have your chickens do all of the work for you!

I highly recommend that you watch some of Paul's videos to get another perspective on growing a garden.

This is a man who was injured and can barely walk, yet he is able to grow an abundance of food using wood chips.

I like that he uses a crew of chickens to help him turn his garden waste and wood chips into great compost for growing a garden.

Natural Plant Pest Control

When creating your garden you should consider planting a few repellent plants that have the ability to naturally repel insects.

Some popular repellent plants are chives, garlic, onions, cilantro, and mint.

Chickens can help to keep down the insects in a garden and chicken manure is also full of nitrogen.

Common Garden Pests

Some of the most common garden pests are aphids, mealy bugs, slugs, mites, earwigs, ants, and grasshoppers. 

Common garden pests can be dealt with in many ways and there are many natural ways of getting rid of the pests that live in your garden.

One of the oldest and most effective plant pest control methods is using beneficial insects that are the natural enemies to undesirable pests or insects.

Beneficial Insects

A great number of insects are showing resistance to chemical methods of pest control which is becoming a big problem.

By using a more natural form of plant pest control your garden will benefit as well as your environment.

Beneficial insects that will help keep down garden pests include ladybugs, soldier beetles, spiders, and praying mantis. 

Also, beneficial nematodes which are tiny worms that live in the soil can be a great solution for soil pest control!


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