In the garden, compost is black gold. Comprised of yard trimmings, food wastes and other materials, this homemade soil amendment brings loads of benefits to the garden, using free ingredients.
Compost This, Not That
By Teresa O’Connor
- Ideal for composting organic material derived from plants and animals to be used as fertilizer, soil conditioner and natural pesticide in gardening and landscaping
- Collapsible, spring-loaded design makes set-up and storage effortless and offers easy access to compost
- Optimal open-bottom design provides access for worms and microbes to speed the composting process
- Round shape evenly distributes heat during decomposition
- Mesh walls increase airflow to maximize the aerobic decomposition process
- Windproof lid secures compost and protects it from wild animals and pets
- Puncture-resistant coated nylon mesh walls offer lasting strength and durability
- Includes compost bin, cover and four anchoring stakes
- 75-gallon capacity
- Dimensions: 2.12L x 28.5W x 28.5H
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Eco Bin 75gal Compost Bin
Look for this at your local retailer
An innovative design makes composting easy and effective.
Compost significantly improves the soil structure so that it retains water and nutrients efficiently, but also allows good water drainage, root growth and air penetration. Whether you have sandy soil or heavy, clay soil, compost can help by adding valuable organic matter to your garden.
Not only that, compost also adds important microbes to the soil, and attracts beneficial insects, which are important to plant growth. This “black gold” often has macro and micro nutrients rarely found in synthetic fertilizers.
I’m a big fan of compost, because of the way it improves my soil quality while, at the same time, reduces my household and garden waste. My Fiskars® Eco Bin™ Composter – which sits near a hibiscus shrub in my garden – couldn’t be easier to set up, and compresses easily into a flat, lightweight unit for easy storage. The round shape, open bottom and puncture-proof mesh walls help everything decompose rather quickly too.
Along with all those other benefits, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says compost can also do wonderful things like:
• Provide nutrients so that you don’t need as much – or any – chemical fertilizers.
• Increase the yields of agricultural crops.
• Help remediate soils contaminated by hazardous waste.
So, what are the best things to throw in the compost pile? And what should not be composted. Here’s help.
• Fruits and vegetables
• Leaves and yard trimmings
• Tea bags
• Coffee grounds and filters
• Grass clippings (unless sprayed with chemicals)
• Fireplace Ashes
• Hair and fur
• Shredded newspapers and clean, untreated paper
• Wood chips
• Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
But, Don’t Compost This
• Eggs and dairy products – such as butter, milk and yogurt – can attract rodents and flies.
• Meat or fish bones and scraps can smell and attract pests.
• Weeds, diseased or insect-ridden plants may survive the composting process and be transferred back to the garden.
• Treated papers—such as glossy magazines, photographs or waxed paper—have chemicals that don’t belong in healthy compost. That applies to pressure-treated and chemically enhanced wood products too.
• Cat or dog feces (and cat litter) may contain germs, pathogens or parasites harmful to humans.
• Coal or charcoal ash may contain chemicals harmful to plants.
• Fats, oils and grease can create odor problems, which attract rodents and flies.
• Yard wastes with chemicals may contaminate the compost and pose health risks to humans.
• Black walnut tree leaves or twigs can release chemicals that are harmful to other plants.
• Oleander leaves are extremely toxic and should not be used in compost for vegetable gardens.