Composting teaches grandchildren to recycle and reuse materials in an earth-friendly activity. It involves dirt, digging, and water–favorite grandchild activities.
The benefits of composting are many:
1. Compost contains the full spectrum of essential plant nutrients.
2. Compost releases those nutrients slowly, over several months or years.
3. Compost balances both acid and alkaline soils, bringing PH levels into the optimum range for nutrient availability.
4. It makes fantastic mulch.
5. It helps aerate the soil.
6. It can be mixed into potting soils.
How can you involve your grandchild or grandchildren in composting?
It is easy! Just show them how.
It is more dirt to dig in and that is fun to any child!
How to Start Composting
Look for a spot in your garden where you can build a compost bin.
Start with three-four containers of "green" yard materials–grass clippings and garden debris. Let your grandchildren help you gather these materials.
Add three-four containers of brown materials–leaves, dry weeks, brush, and woody materials from pruning. Again, let your grandchildren help you gather these materials. If you need to, chop up large branches but let your grandchildren do whatever they can to contribute–based on their age or safety, of course.
Add-two three containers of garden soil. A trip to a nearby park that is not poisoned by chemicals by the city is a great way to acquire this soil.
Add vegetables and fruit scraps and those great old coffee grounds.
Messy? Yes, but grandchildren love a mess.
Layer this material together–as high as is practical for your grandchild.
Now add some water vai the hose and the fun gets funner!
Compost needs to be turned over every one to two weeks with a shovel (or pitchfork) until the pile does not reheat much after turning. This may be a job for grandma or grandpa, depending upon the age of your grandchildren. They can still dig in the "dirt’ there.
Do not use any animal products, meat, grease, etc. in your compost pile.
You want the compost pile to heat up to destroy seeds and grass runners.
Composted? When your compost is ready to go to the garden, it will smell like dark, rich soil. Let the pile cure for two weeks before using.