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Basics of Composting

Composting is a wonderful way to reduce food wastage, grow a thriving garden, and start contributing to a healthier environment. It may seem dirty, complicated and something that needs a lot of effort, but the practice of composting regularly is actually very simple and reaps benefits in the long run. To answer all your basic questions, we’ve gathered a bunch of FAQs about composting and listed down the answers below. This way you can get introduced to composting, learn something new and bring about a lifestyle change going forward.

Introduction to Composting

Composting takes place when various decaying organic substances like dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil, are mixed together. Composting lets you create compost through which organic material waste is broken down by microorganisms, with the help of oxygen. This results in natural fertilizer that can be used for gardening or farming.

Benefits of Composting

Composting brings with it many environmental benefits. It helps reduce the amount of organic waste in landfills. This waste emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting food scraps rather than throwing them in the garbage helps reduce methane emissions. Additionally, composting also captures harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air and aids in carbon sequestration. Apart from the environmental benefits, composting aids in creating a rich natural fertilizer that can replace harmful chemical fertilizers. This results in a healthier, wholesome vegetable and flower produce.

What Can Be Considered as Compostable?

What comes from the ground is probably compostable. This can include veggies, fruit scraps, stale bread, cereal, pasta, coffee grounds and filters, herbs, spices, nuts, egg shells, leaves and plant trimmings. Avoid composting products like butter, meat, animal fat and dairy.

How Does It Work?

You can begin the composting process by gathering all the organic waste in a bin. This can then be brought to a flat, well-drained and sunny location where the pile can remain moist and warm. Layering becomes really important as it can give better results. Layer twigs with leaves and fruit and veggie scrap. Mix this compost once a week to help break down the organic material. You can also layer the browns like dried leaves, straw, shredded paper bags with greens like garden waste, veggies and fruits and even, egg shells. A full decomposition takes about four to six months on an average. An indication that the compost is ready is when it turns dark brown, has a crumbly texture and smells like soil.

Using Compost

Compost can be used as a replacement for chemical fertilizers. You can use it the same way you would use a fertilizer. A few ways to use it is by sprinkling it on your lawn, mixing it with the garden soil, adding it as a dressing when transplanting trees or shrubs.

Purchasing Compost

Composting needs enough space and time for you to reap all its benefits. But if you’re falling short on both space and time, you can even buy compost at garden centers, nurseries and home improvement stores. Many farmers also sell compost.

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