About Laura Prentice

Laura Prentice is passionate about turning trash into treasure through composting. She started composting as a teenager after taking a master composter training through her local Keep Texas Beautiful chapter. Now, she stays busy with gardening, herbalism, teen body literacy education, and transporting biodegradable waste to local farms in her blue pickup truck as a part-owner at Compost Carpool.

Do I need to add worms to my compost pile?

By |2021-08-23T21:11:33+00:00July 27th, 2021|Composting|

So you’ve built your pile and been faithfully turning it, adding water as needed and watching banana peels and leaves turn into rich black humus. But then you start to worry and wonder … Should I add worms to my compost pile?

Well we’re here to answer this question and ease your worries!

There are several types of composting which we will briefly mention below.

Backyard Hot Composting

Backyard hot composting (getting the proper balance of browns and greens (more details), water, and air to allow the pile to heat up) does not require the addition of worms. In fact, if you added worms to a pile as it was heating up, the temperature from the thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria would burn the worms!

Cold Composting

If you’re doing cold composting, your pile will break down a bit more slowly without aeration that comes from turning. So should you add worms to speed the process along? Nope! The worms will come in to do their job of decomposition as they are needed.

So basically, no need to add worms to your compost pile!

Vermicomposting

Unless of course, you’re doing worm composting (also called vermicomposting). You can learn more about vermicomposting (here) .

Check out How Compost Carpooling will work for you (here) .

Tips for Preventing Smelly Buckets

By |2021-08-23T21:11:33+00:00July 27th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Does your compost bucket get a bit ripe? We’ve outlined our solution with these ‘Tips to prevent compost odor’.

Tip #1. Cover and absorb the odor.

The smelliest stuff is rich in nitrogen, which bacteria love to feast on. So, cover nitrogen-rich stuff (food scraps, coffee grounds, etc.) with carbon-rich material (newspaper, leaves, torn up cardboard). The carbon-rich paper products or leaves absorb much of the smell and slow down anaerobic bacterial decomposition.

Tip #2. Set, don’t seal.

Rather than sealing up your bucket lid, gently set the lid on top. This allows air to get in and prevents anaerobic bacteria from stinking up your bucket.

Tip #3. Keep your compost bucket cool.

Don’t let your bucket get too hot. In the summer, store your bucket in a pantry rather than outside or in the garage. Heat speeds up bacterial activity and makes your bucket get smelly faster. Ever hung out around a dumpster in the summer? No? Well there’s probably a good reason for that! Keep your bucket cool and smellin’ fresh.

We hope that by sharing these tips to prevent compost odor you can get back to enjoying some much appreciated, fresh air.

Check out How Compost Carpooling benefits everyone (here) .

Or get in touch, today!

Who are our partners in composting?

By |2021-08-23T21:11:33+00:00July 27th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Other than awesome local farmers, when we ask the question, “Who Are Our Partners in Composting?” we partner with bacteria and fungi! Let’s take a look at just how both partner with us.

Partnering With Fungi

Fungi are especially cool. They create amazing networks of mycelia that convey nutrients through their tiny threads and allow the fungus to break down plant matter. (Super important for making compost.)

(the white stuff visible in the photo below)

Network-Of-Mycelia-In-Fungi

Fungi produce mushrooms (the reproductive part of the organism) and long networks of mycelia (the rootlike white threads visible in this picture). 

Mycelia also allow trees to communicate with each other and even share water and minerals! Older trees may use these mycelial connections (also called mycorrhizal networks) to send much needed support to younger trees through their roots. What a beautiful relationship! 

If you dig through a pile of wood chips or a bag of leaves, you’ll likely spot these fibrous white strands. Fungi love carbon-rich material (leaves, wood, paper, etc.) and are experts at breaking it down.  

In a compost pile, fungi are more active in the later stages after the pile has cooled down some.

What about our partnership with Bacteria?

Bacteria are the awesome initial powerhouses of a pile. They especially like nitrogen-rich material, like manure, green grass, and food scraps and their activity heats up a compost pile in the presence of sufficient moisture.   

Bacteria-The-Powerhouse-Of-Composting

Bacteria heat up a compost pile as they break down nitrogen-rich material. 

We need a healthy balance of nitrogen and carbon-rich materials in a compost pile to feed both the bacteria and fungi that work to break them down. Too much nitrogen and the pile will get smelly and too hot with a bacterial feast. Too much carbon and the pile won’t heat up enough because there’s not enough food for the bacteria. 

As in life, with composting it’s all about the right balance! If we create a healthy environment, fungi and bacteria will thrive and be excellent partners in composting. 

Now that we know just who are our partners in composting, why not consider partnering with Compost Carpool in making the most of our resources? Get in touch today!

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