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Friday, July 1, 2011

Amp Up Your Compost Bin with Brand-Name Products

Original Article

 Frugality is an art form in this day and age. By simply learning new uses for everyday household items, we are able to save money and be resourceful at the same time.  In the popular book Garden Magic by Joey Green, the author has researched ways of utilizing household products in ways we never believed could be used!

In his book, he admits that he obtained all of this “weird” information by holing himself  away in the library and sifting through hundreds of gardening books.  “I contacted manufacturers to obtain their secret files, talked with dozens of gardeners, and searched through the hundreds of e-mails I receive through my website,, where upstanding citizens share their clever uses for brand-name products with me.”
Green has found 11 brand-name  items that can benefit our compost piles to feed microscopic organisms, promote healthy earthworm activity, assist the decomposition process and even repel those bothersome pests that are attracted by our food scraps.  Although these suggestions are to give you an idea of how to add beneficial nutrients to your compost bins, some product suggestions can be modified by using your favorite brands.
Bubble Wrap.  Cover your compost bin by draping a large sheet of Bubble Wrap over the sides of the pile.  The Bubble Wrap cover can protect a sufficiently moist compost bin from the rain or keep moisture in the compost bin when the sun is out.

Coca-Cola.  Boost a compost bin with Coca-Cola.  Pouring  flat Coca-Cola into the compost pile helps jump-start the microorganisms.  The Real Thing increases the acidity and the sugar feeds the microorganisms, increasing the organic matter in the compost.
Goodyear Tires and USA Today.  Fill the inside of the rims of five or six old Goodyear Tires with shredded pages of USA Today.  Stack the tires on top of each other on the ground and fill them with layers of shredded newspaper, kitchen scraps, and a few red wiggler starter worms.  Add indoor and outdoor organic matter to this worm-powered compost bin.  The rubber tires insulate the worms from harsh winter weather, and as the rubber heats up, the worms make their way higher inside the tires.

Lipton Tea.  Pour strongly brewed Lipton Tea into the compost heap.  The liquid speeds up the decomposition process, and the tea attracts acid-producing bacteria, creating an acid-rich compost.
Maxwell House Coffee.  Pour that pot of leftover Maxwell House Coffee into the compost heap, rather than pouring it down the drain.   The liquid expedites the decomposition process, and the coffee attracts acid-producing bacteria, generating an acid-rich compost.  The empty Maxwell House Coffee cans make excellent canisters for collecting compost ingredients in the kitchen.
McCormick Black Pepper.  Before you add layers of kitchen waste to your compost bin, sprinkle the foods with McCormick Black Pepper.  The pungent aroma and taste of the pepper helps repel animals from your compost pile.

Nestea.  Mix up to a quart of unsweetened Nestea instant iced tea according to the directions (without adding sugar or ice) and pour the liquid into the compost pile.  The tea not only speeds up the decomposition process but also attracts acid-producing bacteria, giving you an acid-enriched compost.
Tabassco Pepper Sauce and McCornick Ground Cayenne Red Pepper.  To prevent dogs from digging into your compost pile, mix four tablespoons of Tabasco Pepper Sauce and four tablespoons McCormick Ground Red Pepper in one quart of water.  After you’ve turned your compost, sprinkle the solution over the pile.
USA Today.  Add shredded pages of USA Today to your compost pile to help the worms and microorganisms fortify your compost with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

Ziploc Freezer Bags.  Store kitchen scraps intended for the compost bin in Ziploc Freezer Bag and keep it in the freezer until you have time to add the scraps to your compost pile.  The decomposition of the frozen scraps will help the microorganisms and the earthworms help decompose the food scraps faster.

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