Now is a great time to begin composting for using in Spring plantings. If you have never composted before, it may seem intimidating, but don't be shy. It is easy to do, and with one initial investment, will save money and resources. First you will need to pick a composter.
Yardiac.com recommends the Sun-Mar Composter. It is available in two sizes and has many benefits including a one year warranty and durable construction. Its construction consists of a single piece, which will prevent leaking. That allows you to use it indoors or out. It also employees UV inhibitors to keep the quarter inch plastic walls strong throughout the summer and winter, and uses marine grade steel.
As for using a composter, all you need to do is throw in your organic table scraps (vegetables, egg shells, etc.) and yard trimmings. You will want to break everything down into small pieces so that it will turn into compost quickly. If you are contributing trimmings from your shrubs for example, run them through a wood chipper first. If you are throwing in a head of lettuce, tear it down first. You will want to keep a moisture level of about 40%. Peat moss is a great additive to keep the moisture balance. Keeping that balance will keep the odor down and encourage aerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria will kill critters which would otherwise try to inhabit compost, in addition to promoting the breakdown process for quick composting. Almost 45% of household waste is organic. You can use that waste in your garden and skip the fertilizer. In addition, the fertilizer that you are making is not harmful like some of the ones sold in garden centers.
The Sun-Mar Composter is a continuous use fertilizer. You can expect to get your first batch of useable compost, or fertilizer in about 2-5 months, depending on the size of the composter you use and how much waste you add. It is a great way to garden, save money, prevent waste, and educate young or new gardeners.
Yardiac.com would love to post photos or videos of gardeners using composters. Feel free to send contributions to Blog@Yardiac.com. Let's spread the knowledge!