Composting is still a popular endeavor and has a variety of benefits. It enriches the soil and reduces the need to apply chemical fertilizers. It also has benefits for the overall environment. Composting reduces the amount of yard and food waste in landfills where they decompose and emit the greenhouse gas methane.

Starting a backyard compost “pile” doesn’t mean leaving all those food scraps and grass clippings in the backyard to become a smelly eyesore. Self-contained, premade containers are available on the market in varying sizes. A properly managed compost pile won’t attract rodents or insect pests. Successful composting requires three ingredients in the right amounts.

Those ingredients are characterized as greens, browns and water. Green materials are those that include items such as vegetable and fruit waste, coffee grounds and grass clippings. The browns are composed of dead leaves, twigs and branches. Moisture is also required for the proper breakdown of the components. Organic materials should be layered, but a composting receptacle that allows for easy turning and mixing of the materials is an easy and convenient alternative.

There are a great many materials that can be composted. They include coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, nutshells, and fruit and vegetable wastes. Also on the list of compostable items are hay, straw, leaves, sawdust, grass clippings and houseplants. Cardboard can also be added, along with pet hair and fireplace ashes.

There are some limitations that should never be added to a compost pile, such as scraps from meat or fish, charcoal ash, dairy products, or pet waste. Black walnut shells release substances that can be harmful to other plants, so omit them.

Compost piles should be located in a dry, shady spot and materials moistened as they’re added. Depending upon the mix of composting materials, individuals can have dark, rich compost ready to use in as little as two weeks, with the average being about two years. For those that lack outdoor space, small mini-units can be purchased for indoor composting that will produce ready-to-use organic material in 2-5 weeks.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

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