by Ron Massad
Composting takes us one more step along an ever greener social trail. Eco-friendly disposal of organic plant matter means no more collection, transportation and burial of this valuable “waste”. While recycling has become a deeply ingrained habit for many, home composting is just beginning to catch on. We all want to preserve the environment by reducing the amount of trash we put out at the curb. Finished compost also helps your plants grow by stimulating the activity of microorganisms and releasing nutrients that enrich the soil. It is an outstanding gardening aide!
Where do you start once you’ve decided to compost? First, you need a domestic composted. You can purchase one in home centres, hardware stores and garden centres – or simply build it yourself. Composters come in different sizes and colours and may be made of wood or plastic. Avoid purchasing black composters, which accumulate excessive heat, thus delaying the decomposition process. Use two com posters – or one with multiple compartments – to expedite the process. This way you can add fresh material to one heap while the composting process approaches completion in the other. Place the container outside near the kitchen or garden for convenience’s sake. Worm and balcony units are excellent composting solutions for apartment and condo residents.
Once your composter is set up, decide what you plan to compost, such as table scraps and yard waste and the composting categories to which they belong. Then, check on the Web to learn the basics of composting, including what kinds of categories should be mixed, how you introduce oxygen into the blend through stirring and turning and how you check moisture levels and monitor the process. For more information on the process you can consult Montreal’s practical guid to home composting at ville.montreal.qc.ca