Composting is using decomposed organic material like leaves, loose grass and produce scraps. Cardboard can be included too ! It provides a lot of important nutrients for plant growth and is often used as fertilizer. Compost improves the soil for your plants because the soil can easily hold the correct amount of moisture, nutrients and air with it.
Composting With Kids
Composting is one of the funnest parts for kids when they help you garden. They get the best experience when they can have a compost bowl and container of their own. You can use a regular garbage bin for outside, it’s just recommended that you make 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall. Drill about 25 large holes all around the container you choose to too allow air in and water drainage.
An excellent compost has three different main ingredient: Dead plant materials, household waste and a layer of soil.
Dead Plant Material
This includes dry leaves, twigs and sticks. It can also include grass clippings. If something happens to one of your plants, such as damage or uprooting, you can include those in your compost too ! But refrain from including bitten or diseased plants as they’ll contaminate the entire pile.
Household Waste For Composting
Most importantly, NEVER use meat, fat, dairy or pet waste in your compost. These will actually disease the soil and prevent your plants from growing big and strong. Things that are great to include are veggie and fruit scraps, shredded newspaper (specifically shredded), coffee grounds and eggshells.
A Layer Of Soil
A layer of soil in between your layers of compost helps to add earthworms and other microorganisms that are necessary to break down all of the other materials. Without this layer, the compost pile will take quite a long time to actually become compost.
Not necessary but super fun for kids, you can also consider worm composting ! Make a worm farm by getting a medium sized plastic bin and drilling holes in it. Make a bed for the worms out of damp, shredded newspaper. Fluff it up to make it about 6 inches deep. Keep misting it if it dries out after you add your red wigglers to it ! They’re the best kind of composting worm. You can feed the worms by adding tucking fruits and vegetables into the bedding.
Next week we’ll be talking about other lessons your kids can learn while gardening with you ! Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss it 🙂