|Compost can consist of all vegetable matter except seeds, coffee grounds and filters, paper towels and paper plates that weren't used with animal products, and eggshells. Grass clipping and wood chips can also be added.|
Almost all plant matter and some animal matter can be composted. For the beginner's purposes, just remember, no meat, oils, or dairy products. You technically can compost herbivore (chicken, cow, horse) droppings but I would recommend against this for the new gardener. Never compost pet droppings - ever. These can contain deadly (or teratogenic to a growing fetus) bacteria and parasites that you don't want near your food. Egg shells can be composted but should be broken into small pieces to increase their surface area as they do take time to decompose.
You can compost really all plant matter if done properly. Stems, peels, inedible cores and the like from fruits and vegetables will of course break down under most conditions. Regarding seeds - these will break down if consistently exposed to temperatures greater than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This may not happen in a compost pile but should happen with a tumbler in warmer climates in summer (see below).
As you will likely generate compostable materials throughout the day, we suggest a compost pail with lid right outside the house that can be emptied once or twice a week. Whenever it suits you (say after a breakfast of coffee, eggs and a banana producing grounds, shells and a peel), take your compostable material to the pail - and replace the lid. This should be outside the home because eventually it will likely get gnats -which are better left outside.
|A moderate size aluminum compost pail - make sure it has a filter and air holes in the lid to prevent anaerobic decay.|
|Our trusty compost tumbler has stood up to 4 years of use with only some minor wear. Our rule is every time we see the tumbler, we spin the tumbler.|
Won't you run out of space with all your compost in the tumbler? Possibly, but unlikely. Compost tends to decrease in size as it decomposes. If you find yourself filling a compost tumbler mid spring, we suggest you get a second and alternate which tumbler to which you add new material.
It isn't fast, but composting also isn't complicated. Stick to the rules, spin your composter regularly, and you will find you don't need to spend money on fertilizer or potting soil. Also, you may save money if you are charged per bag or pound of trash. Composting is one way, along with using the Waterboxx PlantCocoon, to decrease the waste and work of growing your own food. Happy gardening!
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