Composting 101: Composting is a great way to feed your garden while recycling at the same time. To get started find a sunny spot in your yard that is level, has good drainage and won’t be construed as an eyesore. Next, buy a compost bin or make your own by poking small holes in a large rubber container. The container should have a lid to help to keep out rodents. Place organic waste in your bin such as yard trimmings, food scraps and coffee grounds. Cut or shred the items first. This will speed up the process. You also want to add equal parts wet and dry products. Stop adding when bin is about 3/4 full. Mix the compost a few times a day. Once the material inside is dark brown and spongy, it is ready to be added to your garden. This can take a few weeks or even months.

Items to add to compost: Fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, lawn clippings, garden soil and dried leaves, cardboard, chinet plates.

Items not to add to compost: meat scraps and bones, fish, milk products, lard, cooking oil, ashes from barbeque grill, pet waste.

Milk Carton birdhouses: Not only are birds a lovely addition to any garden, but they help the eco-system by getting rid of pests, such as aphids and snails. Recycle a milk carton to make a bird house. Or use a milk jug as a bird feeder. This is also a way for kids to be creative.

Newspaper mulch and filler: Most newspapers are biodegradable and use environmentally safe ink. They are perfect to use as a filler for potted plants and mulch. Put a layer of newspaper under the mulch to help keep weeds away. In a potted plant you can mix newspaper with potting soil. It absorbs the water and helps keep the soil moist.

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