Compost delivers all the nutrients your plants need in a slow-release dose over a period of years and is especially valuable when planting new perennial food plants and annuals in your greenhouse.

Making compost can be as easy as throwing your kitchen and garden waste into a heap, layering in other organic materials like shredded newspapers and even your drier lint, giving it all a turn every once in awhile, and, about five feet higher and two years later, you'll have finished compost on the bottom of the pile.

On the other hand, if you want good, healthy compost, you'll want to pay a bit more attention to the types and ratios of the materials you use, the temperature of the pile, and the moisture content. You'll also want to avoid glaring neighbours, dogs, racoons and other pests, and you might want to avoid the back-breaking work of turning a three-to- five foot mound with a pitchfork. And, you'll likely want to start your plants on this healthy diet as early as possible. This is where commercial composters come in!

Composting systems have become increasingly popular with the increase in recycling efforts. An average household produces more than 200 pounds of kitchen waste in a year, and huge amounts of this waste can be put to very good use in your garden and greenhouse.

Composters are available as wire containers, plastic bins and plastic bins that you can rotate easily to keep the compost well-aerated, which is one key to good and quickly produced compost.

Compost bins keep pests and critters away, keep the neighbours happy, and best of all, speed up the composting action, giving you heaps of finished compost for use in your garden and greenhouse in as little as 3 weeks. A plastic tumbler bin costs about $150 to $180.

For more information about purchasing composters, check out the shopping links at the top of this page.

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