Creating Quality Compost

Gardening season is upon us, and the secret to a great garden is great soil. What makes soil great? Compost!

Thanks to the City of Calgary, every home has a Green Compost Bin. You can regularly put compost waste in it for collection, or you can keep it inside your yard and do your own thing. If you choose to make your own compost, here is what you need to do:

Add Base: Food scraps are the base for your compost. You can basically compost any kind of food, except for meat & dairy products. This is because meat and dairy will attract rodents and maggots, but also compromises the nutrient balance of the compost. Have a mini compost container in your kitchen for easy access, then regularly dump it into your compost bin outside and clean it to reduce the smell build-up.

Add Layers: Regularly sprinkle coffee or tea grounds on top of the compost. Grounds are great because they add moisture, which will help the food break down faster, nutrients and prevent odor. Starbucks has a "Grounds For Your Garden" program during the spring and summer, where you can ask for bags of coffee grounds for free! On top of these grounds, add a layer of soil or already made compost. This layer will trap the food and force it to break down, keep out critters and, again, minimize odor. 

That's it! Regularly add to your compost and let Mother Nature do her thing. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you will be helping your garden flourish.

Posted by Ken Richter on


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