Change grass clippings and vegetable peeling "trash" into gardening "treasure" by staring a compost pile. The ThriftyFun community shares their experience. Post your own tips here.
To save money and help save the environment, make your own mulch. Don't burden landfills with your yard waste. Composting lets you produce rich nutrients to fertilize your garden the natural way, with leaves and yard clippings. Plus, it's free.
I also put in any vegetable scraps from peeling potatoes to used tea bags. I have a "scrap bucket" on my counter and just push all those scraps into the bucket to be emptied when full. I also add watermelon rinds, squash seeds, etc. This past growing season, I "grew" several acorn squash from seeds in the compost bin. The plants were lovely and large and covered the bin with lost of foilage then the added bonus of the squash, delish!
A couple of years ago, when I spread compost on my flower beds in front of my house, I had the added bonus of growing "cantaloupe". The seeds did not compost the year before, just laid dormant and warm in the other "stuff" that was composting. The flower bed was not only mulched with the compost, the foliage and flowers was as much an added bonus as the cantaloupe was.
I get my "extra" leaves and grass clippings from my boyfriend. He is a nut about raking and putting everything into bags. He just transports the bags to my house and I compost it and then use it as mulch. Don't forget about adding newspapers in the summertime. The dry "brown" stuff balances out the wet "green" stuff from the grass clippings.
My 7 year old learned about composting as part of their Earth Day/Recycling curriculum. He learned these "no-no's" about composting. They are basic rules that are actually helpful for beginning composters
If you have kids, have them help with composting. They are bound to see lots of worms and it will teach them about the whole growing/decomposition cycle.
Fallen leaves are a great mulch. It is good to chop them with a lawn mower. Composting the leaves is good. They should be piled separately from other compost. They take a long time but will eventually become leaf mold which is a very highly valued compost. I have a large vegetable garden. It is piled rather high with leaves this fall. I am planning to top them off with some wood chips so that they don't blow away. The garden will be weed free in the spring. Then I have a choice of tilling them into the soil, or planting without tilling. Ruth Stout is a proponent of that style gardening.
Verify that you can mulch the leaves successfully before you do it, please. For example: if you live in areas (southern CA for one) where certain varieties of genus EUCALYPTUS are planted as "street" trees, do not mulch them. I did and the mulch killed everything I put it on. They, like Black Walnuts and some other types of plants, produce a chemical that will not let other things grow near them.
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