Composting has many benefits and at a cost of almost nil is one of the most cost effective garden super powers in the world. Trust nature to deliver exactly what our gardens need in the form of an outstanding fertilizer derived from decomposing plant and organic matter. The first step is setting up this nutrient power house, if you have a large property a compost pile may be the best choice, on a suburban lot a decorative barrel may do the trick.
In both cases you will need
- Carbon-rich materials like leaves, straw, dead flowers and shredded newspaper.
- Nitrogen-rich materials, such as grass clippings, plant-based kitchen waste or barnyard animal manure
Keep adding to the pile at a ratio of three parts brown to one part green throughout the season. Every couple of weeks turn the pile with a pitchfork, or roll the barrel to keep oxygen flowing. Steam is a good sign when turning as it indicates the decomposition or organic materials. When you begin to see earthworms in the centre of the pile and the soil becomes crumbly and sweet smelling you have a gardeners black gold!
The list below is a great reference from http://eartheasy.com/grow_compost.html of what you should be adding to your composter. Good luck!!