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Compost at summer camp and tips for your home!

Want to try gardening but don’t know where to start? Think it’s too expensive? Composting is an easy way to help the environment and also to save money too!

At Tomahawk Ranch we have a working greenhouse with outside raised gardening beds too.  This needs a lot of soil to plant new things. So at camp we COMPOST!! Did you know all plants take out nutrients from the soil each season to grow, so it’s vitally important to put that nutrient goodness back in the soil each year to ensure continued success!

So whether you have a large project in mind or simply want to help your house plants, think about what you are throwing away and start composting today.

What’s good in compost?

Fresh fruits and vegetables – All peels, skins or simply fruit gone bad are excellent for compost. All the reasons we eat them are the same for your plants too. They need all the vitamins and minerals they can get. For example banana peels are full of potassium which is great for plants in small doses.

Egg shells – These are full of calcium. (Also, crushed egg shells placed on top of soil help keep those nasty bugs out which eat your delicious plants & beautiful flowers)

Dead leaves – Collect all the fallen leaves each autumn, and add them to your compost! They help bulk it out and add the richness of carbon, a necessary element of compost. (Did you know the leaves from a large tree are worth up to $50 of plant food?!)

Ashes – Who doesn’t love a campfire? Remember to collect your ashes once cooled and add them to your compost. These are also good source of carbon. Ashes are also useful if you have acidic soil (pine needles are especially acidic) so consider sprinkling ashes on areas of your garden where pine needles fall.

Dryer lint – Another good source of carbon

Coffee grounds and tea bags – Good for putting nitrates back into the soil. Although coffee smells great to us, when it is sprinkled on top or around your garden it is also a simple but effective critter repellant!

Grass clippings – Full nitrogen goodness.

Plant cuttings/ Dead plants – Complete the circle of life! Add all your pruning cuttings to the compost. Once an annual plant is done throw the plant and the soil it was growing in to your compost where it will regain the nutrients it lost growing, and be good as new next year for your next crop of plants!

Manure – Nature’s fertilizer! At Tomahawk Ranch we have plenty of manure from our small animal farm! Look around locally within your community, many farmers/horse owners will be extremely happy for you to muck their poop for them! (Must be from grass/hay eating animals – dog, cat, etc. poop is no good!)

Straw – Straw helps bulk up your compost. It also aids in drainage and helps aerate your pile.

Newspaper/shredded paper/cardboard – avoid glossy paper and colored ink.

Most of our summer camps at Tomahawk Ranch get to have some experience in our working greenhouse. Learn more about our camps and then register your girl for a summer camp experience she will never forget!

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