Tips for Starting a Composting System at Your Columbus Home

Tips for Starting a Composting System at Your Columbus HomeMany Columbus homeowners are looking for ways to live more frugal and sustainable lifestyles. Not just for the ability to save some money but to live with a lesser impact on the planet and to provide as healthy a living atmosphere as possible in their home.

One way that Columbus homeowners are finding to live more sustainably and benefit from items they already have that would otherwise get tossed out is composting. Having a personal compost pile at your home is beneficial for many reasons and has gained the interest of several Columbus homeowners.

Here are some tips for setting up a composting system at your Columbus home

What is composting?

Composting helps to reduce landfill waste by reusing the waste your household produces and turning it into an additive for the soil in your own garden. It is a great way to reduce food waste from your home and keep it out of landfills while also saving money on healthy nutrients for the soil in your garden. Having a great outdoor landscape not only beautifies your home but can also help to boost the value of your property.

But the action of composting is not as easily done as just throwing your food scraps into a pile in your backyard. It takes some knowledge, science, and maybe a little bit of art as well. There are some scraps that you don't want to include in your composting pile.

The most beneficial scraps to include in your compost

There are some items that are amazing for compost piles and others that are better left to the actual garbage. The most ideal food scraps that can give you the most beneficial home compost include egg shells, coffee grounds, grass clippings, fruit peelings, teabags, and even shredded paper. You don't want to compost animal products like meat and dairy. Processed food scraps, oils, and grease are also not a great idea for your compost pile. You also want to steer clear of any weeds or diseased plants to prevent spreading unwanted items through your garden.

Starting your home compost system

You don't need a bunch of fancy equipment to get your composting system started. You can start a compost pile at your Columbus home with items like an empty corner of your yard and some other household materials you may already have hanging out at home.

A successful compost system at your home needs four basic elements this includes water, oxygen, materials rich with nitrogen, and carbon-rich materials. The carbon will provide energy for decomposition this can include items like leaves, straw, or wood chips. Nitrogen will provide proteins and enzymes to help break down and allow decomposition to happen this can include items like grass clippings and vegetable scraps. Oxygen is needed for microorganisms in your scraps to do the work needed to turn items from scrap to compost. And water will help to keep everything moist and allow it to break down more easily and quickly. You want to make sure there's a balanced mix of these four components for a successful compost pile.

You can make it as simple as forming a pile in an empty space in your yard where you don't mind the ground underneath not being utilized or you can get specialized bins where you form piles in different stages of composition. Many people like to keep a scrap bowl or a bucket or even have an extra waste bin on hand in the kitchen to collect food scraps. It is best to have something that you plan to empty at the end of every day or every other day to keep items from decomposing inside the kitchen.

It is good to note that you want to make sure you can give the proper attention to your pile by stirring it every couple of days with a gardening fork and adding brown matter to make sure that things are decomposing well. You don't want to end up with a moldy mess or something that attracts unwanted wildlife to your yard. You also want to make sure that you are within your neighborhood zoning rules or HOA rules for keeping a compost pile.

How to use your compost

A  successful pile of compost will turn into a crumbly pile of dirt-like material. It is best used when added to soil in your gardens and planters around your yard. It helps to boost the nutrients within your soil to keep your plants healthy and thriving. Compost can also help to attract beneficial organisms and can reduce the need to use pesticides and fertilizer according to information from the Environmental Protection Agency. It is also shown to help reduce the potential of soil erosion.

You can add compost to your flower and vegetable gardens as well as windowboxes and container gardens. You can incorporate it into tree beds or mix it with potting soil for indoor plants. You can also spread it on top of the soil on your lawn.

Compost is good as both a soil amendment and can be used as a mulch. To use it to amend your soil mix in 2 to 4 inches of compost to the top 6 to 9 inches of the soil. To use it as a mulch loosen up the top 2 to 3 inches of your soil and drop a 3-inch layer of compost on the surface make sure to keep your mulch away from plants at the stem and at the trunk of trees. You want to give them a few inches of room from your mulch.

Taking care of your home through more sustainable practices can save you money and has the added benefit of keeping your property maintained and even improving the value of your property.

For more information on buying or selling homes in the Columbus area please contact us anytime.

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