Compost vs. Fertilizer: What’s Best for Your Garden?

Compost vs. Fertilizer: What’s Best for Your Garden?

Whether you’ve just started gardening or you’ve been growing plants for years, the more you understand the significance of both compost and fertilizer, the better your plants will benefit from each. It’s not enough to haphazardly try both throughout the year. For best results, you’ve got to know the when, where, and how of using…

Making Compost Fast: 50+ Items That Decompose Quickly

Making Compost Fast: 50+ Items That Decompose Quickly

Many years ago, I used to toss most things in the trash, but once I started composting, I loved watching my kitchen scraps and garden waste turn into nutrient-rich compost. I wasn’t just reducing the amount of waste my family sent to the landfill. I was also replenishing my soil each year, converting garbage into…

Can You Compost Directly in the Soil? (Do it the RIGHT Way)

Can You Compost Directly in the Soil? (Do it the RIGHT Way)

Ever find yourself peeling carrots or chopping up vegetables and wondering, “Can I just dig a hole in my garden and toss these scraps in?” If so, you’re not alone.  Kitchen scraps and all other compostable items can be composted directly in the soil. This method, called “direct composting” or “trench composting,” involves digging a…

Putting Worms in Your Compost: Should You Do It?

Putting Worms in Your Compost: Should You Do It?

Worms play a crucial role in the composting process, transforming organic waste into rich, fertile soil. When I transplant seedlings into my garden or remove old plants, I enjoy seeing little earthworms crawling around. They’re a sign that my soil is a happy place for them to live and work. Fortunately, I’ve never had to…

Should You Cover Your Compost Heap in Winter?

Should You Cover Your Compost Heap in Winter?

A few years back, I left my compost pile as is when winter weather arrived—no cover, no protection, nothing. As things got frigid outside, sleet began to fall, and soon my compost was under a blanket—not of warm, insulating straw, but of cold, freezing ice.  Overnight, the compost pile turned into a frigid, ice-covered mass,…

What Goes at the Bottom of a Compost Pile? 9 Things to Add

What Goes at the Bottom of a Compost Pile? 9 Things to Add

I’ve written several articles on how to start raised garden beds—including what to put in the very bottom of raised beds to get the most out of them—but when I started composting in my backyard, I began thinking more about how to start compost piles as well. What should I put in the bottom of…

50+ Cheap Nitrogen Sources for Your Compost Pile

50+ Cheap Nitrogen Sources for Your Compost Pile

Composting is kind of magical (seriously…here’s why). You take something you can’t eat or don’t want, you toss it in a pile of other stuff you can’t eat or don’t want, then you wait several months. At the end of the process, you’ve got nutrient-rich material that your garden plants are going to love. But…