Garden Composters and Composting Basics

Written by Mark Falco


Continued from page 1

In addition, choose a site which suits your climate. Warmth and moisture helpsrepparttar composting process so place your composter in a place which receives a fair amount of sunlight and shelter fromrepparttar 143231 wind if you live in a cooler climate and if in a hotter climate, ensure you give it shade to prevent it drying out.

What Materials Can You Compost?

Pretty much all your organic household and garden waste is an elligible candidate for composting although there are a few exceptions. Things to particularly avoid are meat, fish, bones, fats and oils, dairy products like milk and cheese, dog and cat droppings as these can attract animals, create foul smells as they degrade and carry nasty diseases. Also, whilst weeds and plants can be added, it is advised to dry out persisent weeds and remove seed heads before adding these. Ashes are also best avoided, as are glossy magazines although shredded paper and cardboard are fine to add. Feel free to add waste fruit and vegetables, crushed egg shells, coffee grounds (worms love them!) and tea bags, hair, leaves, grass clippings and other organic waste. As a general rule, if in doubt, leave it out but most organic waste will rot down just fine and if you shred it or cut it up smaller, it will compost faster.

How Long Before It Becomes Compost?

This depends onrepparttar 143232 balance of materials in your compost heap,repparttar 143233 weather andrepparttar 143234 amount of time you can devote torepparttar 143235 project. If you want to take an active managed approach to your composting then you can have afully composted pile in 3 months but if your only desire is to dispose of kitchen and garden waste in a more 'green' manner then it can take 6 months to a year or longer.

Managed composting can produce a 'hot rot' with very fast results but it does require additional effort on your behalf to keep it going. A managed, hot compost heap with an excellent balance of materials can reach temperatures of 70 degree celsius but requires regular turning and nurturing with careful layering and balance of browns and greens inrepparttar 143236 mix, shredding materials and maintaining a good moisture level.

An unmanaged cool heap is however much easier to maintain and rots down at up to 30 degrees celsius with little input from you. Just throwing your waste onrepparttar 143237 heap will give you a cooler heap which will rot down more slowly but is fine for green waste disposal purposes.

There are ways to increaserepparttar 143238 rate ofrepparttar 143239 composting process in both cases by, for example, adding composting worms, or by using an activator which help speed uprepparttar 143240 process. The addition of a handful or soil now and then or horse manure will also add micro-organisms to speed uprepparttar 143241 composting process free of charge.

For The Best Compost...

...use a wide variety of different materials. The more variedrepparttar 143242 materials you add torepparttar 143243 compost pile,repparttar 143244 nutrient rich your final compost will be. Compost made from kitchen and garden waste isrepparttar 143245 best food for your plants and atrepparttar 143246 same time you are helpingrepparttar 143247 environment and saving yourself and your local government money intorepparttar 143248 bargain.

Mark Falco runs the British gardening shopping guide found at http://www.ukgardeningsupplies.co.uk where you can find low prices on composters and composting equipment as well as other garden tools, furniture and accessories.


How to Raise House Plants from Seeds Easily

Written by Balaji B


Continued from page 1

Each dayrepparttar glass should be reversed to preventrepparttar 142965 condensed moisture from dripping on torepparttar 142966 soil, and setting up decay. As soon asrepparttar 142967 seedlings appear, however,repparttar 142968 paper covering must he removed and ventilation ofrepparttar 142969 receptacle begun. The glass covering should therefore be tilted slightly. This is conveniently done by means ofrepparttar 142970 plant label, andrepparttar 142971 amount of air is increased in this way untilrepparttar 142972 covering can be removed altogether.

Pricking outrepparttar 142973 seedlings

As soon asrepparttar 142974 seedlings have developed their first true leaves they are pricked out inch apart in pots of fertile compost such as John Innes Potting Mixture No. 1, and immediately watered in. They are shaded from bright sunlight until they are established. This generally takes 7-14 days, after which they are given more light and air. The 'cuttings' are taken inrepparttar 142975 usual way, by severing them just below a node (where a leaf is inserted inrepparttar 142976 stem). They are then fixed inrepparttar 142977 mouths of small-necked bottles where they remain suspended. The bottles are filled to within a fraction of an inch ofrepparttar 142978 top ofrepparttar 142979 necks with water, preferably rain water.

To prevent green scum (algae) forming inrepparttar 142980 water, it is best to place a few small lumps of charcoal in it. If this operation is done inrepparttar 142981 spring,repparttar 142982 bottles of 'cuttings' can be set onrepparttar 142983 window-sill, and roots will form in a few weeks. Potting must be done immediately roots begin to form.

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