Composting in the Garden

By Samantha Grose, designer for JP&CO and Optima Homes

Composting may seem a bit intimidating at first, especially if you feel a little behind the game when it comes to green gardening, but it’s actually easy as pie. Not only is composting quick and simple, but it also benefits your garden, the earth, and your bill.

The Benefits of Composting

  • Soil is easier to work with
  • Soil is better suited for water and gas circulation
  • Improved water-holding capacity
  • Reduced erosion
  • Stabilizes pH level
  • Provides boatloads of nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and more.
  • Saves money by reducing waste, need for fertilizers, watering, and other soil-enhancers
  • Reduces contribution to landfills

Types of Compostable Material

Compostable material is generally divided into two different categories:  Green (nitrogen) and Brown (carbon)

Green: Fresh leaves, coffee grounds, plant trimmings, tea, raw fruit and vegetables, fresh grass
Brown: Dried grass, dried straw, wood clippings, twigs, sawdust

Compost_Diagram

A Compost of Your Own

  1. BIN: You can choose to build your own bin or pick one up premade at a local hardware or garden store. It should be as small as 3’X3’X3’ or as large as 5’X5’X5’.
  2. LOCATION: Your location should be partially shaded and at least 2 feet from any building. Also consider convenience and drainage.
  3. BUILD FROM THE BASE: See the diagram below for the general pattern. Your compost base should consist of brown materials such as leaves and twigs, followed by alternating green and brown organic materials.
  4. WATER: Your compost pile should be kept moist. This often results naturally from the type of materials and natural rainfall. Check your compost by hand to see if it is necessary to water your compost if its contents get too dry.
  5. MIX: Stir up your compost about once a week while you’re actively adding material. You know that your compost is ready to go when it’s dark, crumbly, and smells fresh.

Author: Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.

Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.

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Written by Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the...
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