How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you compost? Oh my gosh, if you don’t, why not?!!! It is easy, it’s great for the environment and it will result in amazing nutrient rich soil that surpasses anything you can buy from a store! Some of the additional benefits are that you will reduce the amount of trash you produce and keep things out of the landfill.

Keep reading to learn How to Compost and create your own magnificent garden soil!

Now, I totally understand if you are living in the big city in an apartment and really don’t have space for compost let alone potted plants (but if you do want to compost, read more about worm composting in a container.) However, f you have a yard, you really should be composting! It’s easy, it takes very little time, and my little wiggly BFFs (aka worms) do all the work for you.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

That’s right, they eat up all your kitchen and yard waste and turn it into beautiful black soil. How do they do it? If I tell you, you have to promise that you won’t get grossed out. They poop it out. LOL. Yup, compost is decomposition and worm castings (a nicer word for worm poop.) Please don’t run away, find out how easy it is to create this magnificent garden soil.

Here’s the basics for how to compost and get top quality soil for your garden and landscaping for FREE!

How to Compost – Magnificent Garden Soil Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

  • Spading ForkHow to Compost
  • Sealed bucket or container to store kitchen scraps:

Attractive Compost Pails I wouldn't mind having in my kitchen!

Blue and White Floral CrockSea Blue Compost CrockGreen Stoneware Crock
 Copper Compost Bin  |  OXO Flip Lid Compost Container  |  Red Ceramic Crock
Green Metal Pail  | Bamboo Compost Pail  | Sprout Compost Container

 

What can be composted?

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Kitchen scraps
    • raw fruits
    • vegetables
    • egg shells
  • Coffee grounds and the filter
  • Newspapers, non-glossy cardboard, paper towels
  • Leaves (brown for carbon and green for nitrogen rich)
  • Grass clippings
  • Plant & flower clippings
  • Yard waste

What can’t be composted?

  • Meats
  • Dairy products
  • Processed foods
  • Plastic
  • Man made substances
  • Metals

Okay, you get the picture. Only raw fruits and veggies (and egg shells), okay?

Location:

Your pile doesn’t have to be anything special. A simple a hole in the ground is fine. Find a partially shaded spot in your yard. A shady spot is ideal so the pile doesn’t get dried out in the hot sun. If you’ve had a dry spell for a while, go ahead and water the pile. If you have pets, put a little fencing around it to keep them from getting into the compost. (Eating decomposing food can make them sick.) Don’t worry too much about wild animals (unless you have a serious pest problem.) Animals will come sniffing around and may dig a scrap or two out of the pile, but they rarely take up residence in your yard. However, if you are concerned about pests, go ahead and purchase a closed bin for your yard.  Otherwise, save your money, a fancy tumbler or bin aren’t necessary for the compost to produce.

How to Compost:

Keep your compost bucket in your kitchen. (We keep our pail under the sink, but if you have a pretty container you can leave it on the countertop.)

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

After cutting veggies or fruit, toss the scraps in the bucket. Coffee grounds can get thrown in, filter and all! Egg shells are also great for your compost.

When the bucket is full, take your scraps outside to the compost pile. Clear a hole in your pile, dump the scraps and cover them over with dirt or soil (this will prevent attracting too much wildlife to your pile.)

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Occasionally throw in some torn up strips of newspaper to add some “carbon” source to the pile. The key to a healthy compost is to have a good mixture of green (nitrogen rich) vs. brown (carbon rich) materials. Don’t overload on grass clippings or yard waste.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip some fresh soil on top of the scraps and walk away! That’s it. What about my BFFs, the worms? If you start the pile, they will come. Trust me, they’ll find your pile. If you’re super antsy, you could buy some red wigglers from a fishing bait place, but honestly why bother? Soon you’ll have big fat overfed worms happily working for you for free. Go back in 2-3 weeks and check on the progress of your magnificent garden soil.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

I usually grab my magnificent soil from the bottom when I need it. But, you can split your pile in two. Use one side to add scraps to and let the other side “marinade” to perfection. Then switch sides. Frankly my little worm army works pretty fast. Within a month they have produced enough compost to fill some potted plants and more. I rarely buy soil anymore unless I need a huge amount.

What about composting in the winter? If you aren’t under a dumping of snow, your pile can still work in the winter. In fact, you’ll be surprised to see the warm steam rising from the pile when you dig into the center.

Compost Tea:

Now that you have a rockin’ compost pile you may want to learn how to make a compost tea to further nourish your plants and help them be healthier and heartier! I haven’t tried it yet, but you better believe I’ll be brewing some compost tea this year.

Share this article with your friends and do something environmentally friendly! Pin this graphic to refer to later:

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

Now that you have compost to use, learn how to create a rot resistant planter bed:

How to Build a Rot-Resistant Raised Planter Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

And maybe you want to dip your toes in the Square Foot Gardening craze!

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Thank You For Nurturing My Child Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Thank You For Nurturing My Child Teacher Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl
Every year my son’s elementary school has a staff and teacher appreciation week. It sneaks up on me and catches me off-guard (every year!) In the spirit of last minute teacher appreciation gift ideas, I’ll be bringing you a week’s worth of ideas that are quick, easy and affordable!

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas Series | Pretty Handy Girl

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas:

Decorated Chalkboard | Thank You for Nurturing My Child Plant | Apple Pencil Holder | You Rock Gift 3D Card | Simple Washi Tape Vases

I REALLY appreciate those men and women who give their time and patience to my child and the other kids in the school. So, I want to make sure I give them something a little different than a card (not that a card isn’t a nice gesture though.)

I spotted some glass votive holders at Goodwill (previously purchased at IKEA), and knew I could do something special with them. Then while browsing Lowe’s I found myself staring at the succulent plants. Eureka! I had my gift idea! A “Thank You for Nurturing My Child” Teacher Appreciation gift idea!

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Thank You For Nurturing My Child Teacher Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Start by filling the bottom 1/3 of the votive holder with the decorative rocks.

Thank You For Nurturing My Child Teacher Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Spoon soil on top of the rocks. Read more

Update on Backyard Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

Update on Backyard Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

Things have been busy in our yard. There’s been lots of mud and dust flying around. I figured you’d like an update on our backyard landscaping. Put on your boots and let’s get dirty!

If you remember, I had big plans to give our back yard a face lift using Belgard stone products. It’s been super exciting seeing things take shape. The landscaper we hired (Arbor Enterprises, a woman-owned company in Pittsboro, NC) has been here working hard rain or shine. They leveled an area beside the house for the garden and shed area and built a small retaining wall using Keystone Stonegate wall blocks. You can see the drainage gravel in the back where the shed will go. And they will cover the rest of the area with weed barrier and Chapel Hill grit.

Update on Backyard Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

The blocks go together easily and are held in place with pins. This allows for a sturdy retaining wall that doesn’t need any mortar.

Update on Backyard Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

The Keystone Stonegate Wall Blocks are also being used as a seating wall on the new patio. I chose Mega Arbel mosaic pavers for the patio surface and am in love with the random pattern! The guys started laying the Belgard Granika steps off the patio. They weigh 275 lbs. each — I’m so glad I didn’t chose to DIY this project. Read more

Lowe's Spring Makeover Reveal Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you been following all the Lowe’s Spring Makeovers? There were 10 in all, and each one is truly a miraculous transformation. If you remember, there were 10 bloggers who were sent to 10 different areas that were hardest hit by this past winter. We all combed through hundreds of applications to select 10 homeowners who deserved a fantastic makeover. There were challenges; there were lots of Lowe’s heroes who stepped up to help with those challenges; and there were lots of happy tears in the end. You’ll definitely enjoy reading each story and seeing the reveal!

If you’re ready to start the tour, grab a cold drink and head this way—>>> Read more

20 Summer Boredom Busters for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

If you’re on a quest to keep the kids entertained, I have several Boredom Buster DIY craft projects for you and your kids that will keep you busy over the next few weeks or so.

side_view_calendars

Summer Calendar & Bucket List

 

Thumbprint Pillow | Pretty Handy Girl

Kids’ Thumbprint Envelope Pillows

 

cooling_crayon_hearts

Melted Heart Crayons

 

Sunprints | Pretty Handy Girl

Sunprints (frame-worthy art)

 

DIY Magnets Noggin Characters | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Character Magnets

 

Placemat_summer_garden_flag_pin

Summer Garden Flag

 

Planning a beach vacation? Why not bring a few craft supplies to create some beach-themed crafts!

Writing Name in Sand Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Writing in the Sand Art

 

Sea Shell Memory Game | Pretty Handy Girl

Sea Shell Memory Game

 

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Dragonfly from a Whisk and Skewer

 

block print tea towel

Potato Block Print Tea Towels

 

Easy_washi_tape_vases

Easy Washi Tape Vases

 

how to make a yardstick star

DIY Yardstick Star

 

Spray-Dyed T-shirts | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray-dyed Shirts

 

Easy Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards | Pretty Handy Girl

Decorative Chalkboard Clipboards

 

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Kid Designed Monster Dolls

 

boy_playing_indoor_hopscotch

Indoor Hopscotch with Painter’s Tape

 

wine_cork_reindeer

Wine Cork Animals

 

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Doodle Shirts

 

PrettyHandyGirl_music_Votives_on_shelf

Decorated Glass Jar Votives

 

Magnetic Mailbox Cover | Pretty Handy Girl

Custom Painted Magnetic Mailbox Covers 

Those ought to keep your kids busy for a little while and let you make summer memories that last forever. Happy Summer!

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