With summer comes watermelon and who doesn’t enjoy a juicy red slice of watermelon when the heat is high?
Have you ever thought of what you can do with the rind of that wonderful fruit instead of throwing it out? The answer is Compost!
Composting is a great way to get rid of your fruit and vegetable byproduct, pizza boxes, tissues, and other items not able to be recycled. About 25% of the average trash can is filled with items that can be composted. With recycling companies becoming more peculiar about what they will accept, many Americans are looking to the compost scene for an answer instead of filling landfills. Plus it is a great way to get great soil for your gardens!
If you want to start composting in your backyard, there are a few things you should know that will benefit the end product.
Composting consists of four basic products:
1. Brown materials: dead leaves, cardboard, twigs, branches, etc.
2. Green materials: food byproduct, grass clippings, coffee grounds, etc.
3. Water – compost piles must be kept moist
4. Oxygen – Be sure to mix up your pile to aerate the compost
Your compost pile should consist of a 2:1 ratio of Brown materials and Green materials. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen. You should also add organic materials of different-sized particles.
There are two different styles that can be used to compost. The first is Add-as-you-Go which means that you throw the materials into the compost as you use them. This is a convenient and widely used practice for backyard composting, however, the end product may not be as refined and the cycle takes longer to create the compost. The second style is a Batch System which means that you store your excess items for compost until you have enough of all of the materials. Once you have enough materials, you add it the compost pile in a batch which gives you a better end product and works in 1/3 the timeframe than Add-as-you-Go.
Here is a great link to backyard composting for more information.