Composting for the Health of It

Every gardener needs good soil and knows the benefits that compost can bring to their efforts.  Compost is a natural soil amendment that can provide plants with nutrients. It may not meet all of your garden’s nutrient demands, but it’s a good start. Compost can also increase the moisture-holding capacity of your soil. And it contains beneficial microorganisms that contribute to the overall health of the soil. “So,” you ask, “where can I find this wonder product?” Most garden centres carry compost to purchase by the bag. Or you can save your money and make your own. All you need is a convenient, well drained and preferably sunny spot in your yard where you can frame in a space to start your pile. Commercial composters with lids are also available to purchase. 

By composting at home, you will see a noticeable reduction of waste materials going out the door for pick-up. A composter needs green materials like fruit and vegetable peels and cores, coffee grounds and tea leaves, plus browns like dried leaves and lawn rakings to keep it active.  Plus water: it needs to be moist, and a lid can help with moisture control. By maintaining a home composter, you can also gauge your own nutritional intake! If you find the only contributions you have to make are sunflower seed shells and coffee grounds, it might be time to increase the amount of vegetables on your plate! 

Should you decide a garden isn’t in your sights for this year, compost can also be screened and used as a top-dressing on your lawn, providing much of the same benefits as it would to a garden. And if you live in a condo or apartment, then vermi (worm) composting might be an option for you. The environmental  benefits of composting are numerous and it’s a great way to keep you and your yard healthy.Vist the City of Edmonton’s website for more information, including instructions to get you started.

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