Ocotillo, also known as coachwhip, Jacob’s staff, vine cactus, or by the scientific name of Fouquieria splendens, is a flowering spiny shrub that’s a characteristic species of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. Desert Life Though this species resembles a cactus with its long spiny branches, it is more closely related to blueberries and tea. Ocotillos […]
Knowing the different types of kale will guide you in choosing the appropriate variety for cooking or growing. Here’s everything you should know about this leafy vegetable, including it’s rare varieties!
Don’t get lost in the vast world of tomatoes with this comprehensive guide! Discover which varieties are suitable for canning, salads, or sauces. Learn about unique varieties and more to expand your tomato knowledge for home garden or kitchen.
“How many names does it need?” I asked. “I don’t know,” admitted my gardening friend (who loved all manner of trivia). “But this plant has quite a few — dragon flower, snapdragon, toadflax, dog flower — not sure about the last two, but I have to agree the face of the flower looks something like […]
Tomatoes have come a long way through their agricultural history. From their domestication by the Aztecs to their first transatlantic adventure to Spain; from their bizarre stint as a deadly poison in Great Britain and early America to their present state of eminence in every seed catalogue and garden, human relationships with tomatoes have gone […]
For those of us who use alternative building methods in construction, it can be difficult to find a mentor. Trade schools generally teach stick framing, so you will be hard-pressed to find an official school in which to learn. And if you can’t find an architect who is a natural builder to apprentice under, your […]
If you are like many of us modern homesteaders, you weren’t raised in this life. You probably come from the city or suburbs and worked a typical 9 to 5 job. As you soon find out, that sort of life doesn’t really prepare you well for living on a homestead. So how do you fill […]
“What was that plant you gave me last year? I can never remember the name.” My friend, Susan, pointed to a plant in her garden. “The Bergenia?” I nodded. “Yes. It’s sprouting a stem — I didn’t think it flowered.” “It does, but only briefly. Like a pig’s squeak,” she explained. “Which just happens to […]
For some, composting is a stinky mess that half-reformed hippies insist on building in “decent” neighborhoods. For others, it’s a mysterious, alchemical process that master gardeners alone comprehend. Still others may think composting is a grand idea but are intimidated by the initial setup and assumed learning curve. And finally, some can admit composting is […]
Composting pasta has been linked to major composting issues, making it an unconventional organic material. However, with proper preparation and best pile management practices, you can convert leftover pasta into nutritious compost.
Hair have slow decomposition rate, gradually releasing nitrogen into compost. Small amounts of hair will benefit the overall composting process, but an excess of it has its caveats.
Some types of wine corks are fine to compost, but other types should never go to your compost. Aside from a nutrient-rich compost, wine enthusiasts can transform natural corks into beautiful art or useful garden mulch.
When I was fresh out of college, I worked as a guide at a wilderness retreat center. We hosted weekend retreat groups, encouraged participants to compost food waste in our big compost bins, and provided a pamphlet to help them do it correctly when one of the staff wasn’t present. One hot fall afternoon, I […]
Whether seeds are suitable for composting is a hot debate! Learn the advantages and disadvantages of including them to your pile, and other useful tricks to prevent unintentional seedling growth and spread.
“Did you know there’s a shrub in India that blooms once every 12 years?” (My friend was sharing more gardening trivia.) “I read about it somewhere,” I replied. “What’s it called?” “The kurinji shrub. When it blossoms, the hillsides turn a bluish purple.” “Must be a sight to behold.” “Like that a plant that stinks […]
Pine trees commonly produces heaps of pine needles, ready for compost use. However, you need to learn some precautionary measures and other useful tips to effectively transform them into beneficial compost.
Fresh or dried, flowers are more than just their visible beauty. Some flower types can contribute to your compost pile under optimal conditions and correct preparation.
Inclusion of garlic in compost pile is a double-edged sword. Although it boosts the nourishment of your compost, large quantities of garlic scraps can significantly impact your pile, especially its microbial action.
Not only are tomatoes beneficial for your health, but they’re also good for your compost. Correct preparation, and optimal compost conditions will yield the best compost quality and prevent potential problems.
Popular during summer days, watermelons have chunky rinds that can be used for composting. Learn how to maximize their nutrients for your compost, and avoid common composting issues.
Instead of sending away your cardboard scraps to landfills, consider turning them into nutrient-rich compost. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of cardboard in compost and explore other sustainable alternatives if a home compost isn’t possible.
Traditionally excluded from piles, cheese can only be transformed into a healthy compost under proper methods. Explore the complex process of composting cheese, including potential issues and the optimal composting conditions needed for its safe transformation.
Composting citrus fruits presents some challenges, especially on your pile’s pH. Learn the correct preparation and best practices when processing your citrus scraps into nutrient-rich compost.
Avocado is a popular fruit, flexible for various dishes. The resulting avocado wastes, however, can be used for composting, instead of contributing to landfill wastes.
Rhubarb leaves are not only useful for cooking, but also for composting. Although tricky to process, rhubarb leaves provide nitrogen essential for producing the best compost quality.
Composting cooked food is a tricky challenge, especially for beginners. Learn the pros, cons, and intricacies of processing cooked food safely and efficiently.
You can efficiently process flour into nutrient-rich compost, but doing so presents some composting challenges. Learn more about the best practices, potential issues, and alternative disposal options of flour waste.
Discover how to compost mushrooms, everything from preparation and composting methods, to potential issues and alternatives. Gain insights about how adding mushrooms to your compost pile can enhance the nutrient content and help improve your garden soil.
Learn how to compost cat litter efficiently and responsibly, considering factors like the types of cat litter suitable for composting, potential health hazards, and the right composting conditions. Gain insights into various eco-friendly, compostable cat litter options and how their integration impacts the composting process.
Discover how to compost potatoes correctly and the benefits they can bring to your compost pile in this comprehensive guide. Learn how to prepare potatoes for composting, how they affect the compost process, and how to tackle potential issues such as regrowth and blight spread.
Discover the potential of composting ashes in this comprehensive guide, learn what types of ashes are beneficial for composting, criteria for their inclusion, and how they affect composting conditions. Also, explore guidelines for ash composting processes and a discussion on numerous alternatives for unused ashes, preventing waste and promoting sustainability.
Learn how to optimally prepare peanut shells for composting, and explore the benefits they bring to a compost system. Find out the necessary details on how to process them, and the conditions needed to prevent potential composting issues.
Composting dryer lint has its benefits and potential pitfalls, especially if you compost the wrong kind. We dig deep into this laundry waste and discuss how to prepare dryer lint for composting and alternative disposal methods.
“Ready for a ghostly encounter with a flower? Let’s see if we can find one.” “Find one?” I asked (always intrigued with her ideas). “A ghost flower.” She half whispered, eerily. “A what? “A ghost flower.” She said it louder this time. “It’s a parasitic plant that doesn’t need chlorophyll since it feeds off nutrients […]
Leftover bones are uncommon composting ingredient. We explore the benefits and challenges of composting bones, best methods to do so, and other composting alternatives.
We discuss how to compost egg cartons, the optimal conditions, and other composting alternatives to sustainably handle egg carton wastes. If you’ve been wondering whether you can compost your egg cartons, this richly detailed guide provides the answers.
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Maximize benefits from your corn scraps, benefitting for your soil and plants. Learn how corn effectively improves compost quality, the best methods for composting corn, addressing potential issues like attracting pests and odors, and much more.
Compost newspapers effectively with the best preparation techniques, optimal composting conditions, and methods. Avoid common pitfalls, explore alternatives, and repurpose newspapers creatively for a sustainable approach to waste management.
Learn how to compost shrimp shells effectively in this comprehensive guide. Shrimp shells, packed with valuable nutrients like nitrogen and chitin, can nourish your garden soil and enhance plant defense against infections. Discover various composting methods, from hot composting for quicker results to Bokashi composting for limited space. Uncover alternative uses for shrimp shells, such as creating homemade fertilizer or enjoying unique recipes, and explore safe disposal options for shells that shouldn’t be composted. Maximize your composting efforts and reap the benefits for your garden and the environment!
Learn the best methods and safety precautions for composting meat with this comprehensive guide. Explore sustainable alternatives when composting at home is not readily available.
When most people in the Western world think of building a new home, almost all of them imagine the same sort of construction process: Stud framing (as this most ubiquitous method is known) uses materials such as dimensional lumber (usually two- by-four and two-by-six) to form the skeleton of the house. The exterior of these […]
Learn how to properly compost coffee filters efficiently to enhance your compost pile’s microbial activity. Discover the types of coffee filters suitable for composting, the optimal composting conditions, and various methods like hot composting, vermicomposting, and more.
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Discover the correct preparation and optimal composting conditions for both cooked and uncooked rice, as well as the benefits and challenges associated with composting rice. Find the best approach for rice using this comprehensive method.
Learn which wax paper type are compostable using this comprehensive guide! Discover tips on preparing wax paper for composting and maintaining optimal compost conditions. Choose the right composting method that best suits your resources and lifestyle.
As long as gardeners have existed, they’ve sought to extend their growing seasons beyond the limits of winter’s shutdown. Gardening history is dotted with an arsenal of methods created to rebuff frost and snow, such as cold frames, greenhouses, row covers, carefully-placed compost piles, and cloches. A relatively recent entry in the fight to defy […]
Learn which paper plate types and sources are compostable. Correct preparation, and optimal composting conditions are crucial factors to produce the best compost quality from compostable paper plates!
Find out how to compost parchment paper with this comprehensive guide. Discover which types of parchment paper are compostable and which should be avoided due to their chemical coatings. Follow proper preparation and optimal composting techniques to ensure a healthy and efficient composting process.
Learn how to compost paper effectively using this comprehensive guide. Correctly prepare compostable paper types and aim for the optimal conditions to convert your paper scraps into a healthy compost.