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Landscaping Tips for your Vienna VA Home: Create a Compost Pile

You’ve probably heard about composting, and wondered if it was hard to do. Actually, creating a compost pile is easier than you might think. Compost is great for the landscaping at your Vienna VA home, because it helps prevent plant diseases by making your plants healthier. Compost helps plants grow better by improving the soil’s structure and water-holding capacity, and by increasing the supply of nutrients the soil provides for your plants.

Here’s how to start a compost pile:

  1. Set a commercial or homemade composter on the ground in an easily accessible place. You can purchase a commercial bin at hardware stores or online. For a simple and inexpensive open bin, make a circle about 3 or 4 feet in diameter out of 3-to-4-foot-high welded wire or plastic garden fencing.
  2. Add your compost ingredients. Place a 4 inch layer of stemmy plants, sticks, or other coarse material in the bottom of the bin. As they become available, add kitchen wastes, dead plants, grass clippings and chopped leaves to the bin. Add water as often as needed to keep the material moist but not soggy (like a wrung-out sponge).
  3. Turning the compost pile is helpful but optional. If you choose to turn, lift off the composter or bin and set it next to the pile. Then use a pitchfork to move the pile back into the composter. Moving the compost around also discourages any small animals from setting up shop in your compost pile.
  4. The compost is ready to use when you can no longer recognize the original ingredients. Until you use it in your garden, keep your finished compost covered with a tarp or burlap to prevent rain from leaching out nutrients.

Good Compost Ingredients:

Leaves, hay and other dead plant material

Fruit and vegetable trimmings

Herbicide-free grass clippings

Manure from horses, cattle, goats, poultry and rabbits

Paper or cardboard, torn into strips or hand-sized pieces

Do NOT Add:

Meat scraps

Very fatty, sugary or salty foods

Chips or sawdust from treated wood

Clippings from herbicide-treated lawns

Manure from omnivorous animals (dogs, cats, humans, etc.)

For more information on landscaping for your Vienna VA home, contact the experts at Lost Creek Landscapes. Serving all of the Northern Virginia area, our team can deliver the landscaping dreams you are looking for. Please call us today at 703.263.1740