COMPOSTING

There are mainly three different types of composting:

Aerobic- Air is used to help break down materials rapidly. The compost should be turned over every few days.

Anaerobic- This is the opposite of aerobic, this takes much less effort. Just place scraps into a compost pile and don’t mess with it for a year or more.

Vermicomposting- This process uses worms, oxygen, and moisture to decompose organic material with few odors. Red worms are a favorite for this form of composting.

Waterwise Wednesday: Holding Water with Healthy Soil

Hand holding a small plant and stream of water

Water less and boost plant health with healthy soil. Pores in healthy soil increase the water holding power and nutrient access for root systems too, which not only help plant growth but also prevent erosion, soil pollution, and further increase water retention.

Save water and Increase soil water retention with these tips:

– Avoid compaction with heavy equipment to preserve porous spaces in the soil.

– Add compost to your soil to improve its ability filter water more effectively during heavy rain and retain more moisture for plants during drought.

– Use drip irrigation to water plants’ directly above the roots and minimize evaporation.

– Place plants close enough to shade areas of bare soil between them to save water and resulting in fewer weeds. To retain moisture in the soil between plants that need wide spacing, try a weed barrier like mulch, or under sow a ground cover that won’t grow tall and compete.

Photo © Ongap

Waterwise Wednesday: National Learn About Composting Day

Photo © Richard Griffin

Yes, it’s an officially recognized day.

Compost can be made from kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, newspapers, leaves wood chips, coffee grinds and even meat or fish products (when done properly) – just not processed foods.

Nutrient rich compost is a natural fertilizer that boosts soil health, prevents runoff and groundwater from chemical toxins, and insect friendly which means more pollinators and beneficial insects boosting the health of your yard and garden plants.

For more information :

EPA Home Composting: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home#basics

UNL Extension Vermiculture: https://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/vermicompost107.shtml

Waterwise Wednesday: Thanks! For Saving Water on Thanksgiving

Here’s some ways to save water as you celebrate the holiday . . .

1. The Big Thaw. Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator instead of cold water. Remember, to put it in pan to catch leaking juices.

2. Bathe instead of shower. Wash vegetables in a large bowl of water, instead of under running water. Then use the water to soak the roasting pan or dirty utensils before washing them.

3. Steam instead of boil – not only will you use less water, you’ll also preserve more nutrients and vitamins.

4. Track the glass. Use wine glass charms, ribbon, or different color yarn to keep track of your glass throughout the day instead of reaching for clean one each refill. K

5. Easy reach. Keep one pitcher of cold water on the table for water glass refills. Keep a second to collect the half-full glasses at day’s end for plant or pet water.

6. Scrape dishes into the compost or trash rather than rinsing food scraps down the garbage disposal, which clogs pipes with oil and grease.

7. Thank goodness for dishwashers – ENERGY STAR – rated dishwashers can use as little as three gallons per load. If you have to wash dishes by hand, fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.

 

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Free photo 82950340 © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Feed the Lawn

It’s the height of mowing season (Yes, bad pun) with many uses for grass clippings:

1. Leave clippings on the lawn as a natural fertilizer.

2. Compost clippings, making sure to mix the grass into the pile to enhance aeration and prevent compaction.

3. Make (Lawn Clipping) Tea
Make lawn clipping tea by placing fresh cut clippings in a bucket of water and allow it to steep for about three days. Then pour the nurtrient rich brew onto the roots or spray on the leaves.

4. Mulch with clippings to retain moisture, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and improve its fertility.

5. Raised Bed are a great way to use up your excess grass clippings. Thin layers of clippings alternate with thin layers of shredded leaves to provide a nutrient rich compost base to the bed.

6. For the truly crafty use clippings as a natural organic fabric dye.

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