Apparently it is Compost Awareness Week, I have tried composting in the past, I just got out of the habit but I am getting back to is as I am about to start a garden and I want it to be as natural as possible. I found this handy How-To article about Composting and though I would pass it on to you!
Why Compost?Finished compost is a free soil amendment and fertilizer for the garden. It is mild and won't burn plants like chemical fertilizers. By adding compost you'll improve the overall texture of your soil enabling it to retain and drain water better.
Choose a Compost BinIn the DIY Compost Bins post I collected some nice examples of homemade compost bins on the Internet. The post on Compost Bins for Small Spacesshowcased three commercially available compost bins for those who weren't born with the DIY gene and don't mind spending money.
Compost Bins as Pets.Think of your compost bin as a pet. This will do two things: it will help you see it as a living thing that shouldn’t be neglected, and teach you to ‘feed’ it a balanced diet.
Green Materials to Compost.Vegetable and fruit scraps. Coffee grounds and filters. Tea bags and leaves. Fresh grass clippings. Plant trimmings from your garden. Houseplants.
Brown Materials to Compost.Dry leaves. Straw and dry hay. Woodchips and sawdust from untreated wood. Dried grass clippings, shredded paper. Egg and nut shells. Hair and animal fur. Paper, shredded newspaper (printed with soy ink to be safe) paper towels, and paper tubes.
DO NOT COMPOST!Meat. Fish. Eggs. Dairy products. Oily foods or grease. Bones. Cat and dog waste. Diseased plants and seeds of weedy plants. Anything treated with pesticides.
Composting Tips.Chop your materials into small pieces, which will break down faster. Always cover your layer of green material with a layer of brown material to cut down on flies and mask any odors. If you want fine compost, like in the picture above by normanack, run over it with a mulching lawn mower. When composting whole plants remove seed heads and seed pods. If possible avoid adding roots of plants to your compost pile that could generate a whole new plant.