Recycling veggies for a compost heap

In many households, there is often a lot of vegetable scraps and waste that get thrown out. Even though this food waste is biodegradable most of it gets thrown into landfills, which contributes to the rise in methane gas. But if you are growing your own garden you can use these scraps to make your own garden fertilizer. If you’re unsure how to do this, here is a guide.

What vegetables can you compost?

Any vegetable matter is great for a compost heap.This can include things such as corn husks and cobs, broccoli heads, inedible stems, lettuce leaves, potato and carrot peels, as well as soft-fleshed vegetables, like eggplant. Even vegetables that are browning or rotten can be added to the compost heap. So be sure to keep an eye out for these when you’re cooking and cleaning out your fridge.

Preparing veggies for the compost heap

When collecting your vegetable refuse, make sure that you put a small bucket aside to keep your vegetable matter separately from your trash. If you have large pieces of vegetable waste you should chop or shred them into smaller pieces before adding them to your heap. You should also make sure that you rinse any leftover cooked vegetables and salads with dressing, this is because cheese, butter and other dairy products have a tendency to go rancid in the compost heap and to draw pests.

Making a compost heap

Once you’ve collected enough vegetable matter, pick a spot where you want to make a heap in your garden. When you’ve selected a spot, you can start making a 16 cm layer of carbon-rich materials. These can include things such as wood chips, twigs, straw, dead flowers, and shredded newspaper. Then add a thick layer of your nitrogen-rich vegetable matter.

Add a think layer of garden soil, then add another layer of your carbon-rich materials. Try to add these in a ratio of three parts carbon-rich to one part nitrogen-rich materials until you get a pile that is one meter high. Then water the layers until they are damp. To maintain it just turn the heap frequently. When the mixture begins to look like rich, brown soil, then it is ready to be used.

When composting your vegetable matter you’re not only helping to maintain your garden but you’re also helping the environment. This process is also simple enough, so if you are keen you can use this guide to get started.

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