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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Composting Natural Cat Litter

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Wheat Litter Composts Easily
In a prior life I wrote primarily green, Eco, and organic. And while I still live this lifestyle, my writing has turned largely to dogs, with an Eco slant continuing in our lifestyle. Tanner, Oliver, Jacque and Patches all do their part, eating organic food and living as lightly on Earth as they are able.

Today I'd like to summarize and share some tips for composting cat litter that were begun at our recent #LitterChat Twitter Party for Swheat Scoop. Feel free to comment with your questions and I'll be happy to respond.
  1. DO NOT try to compost clay litter or litter that contains ‘solids’. Always remove solids first. 
  2. Micro-organisms in compost bins and piles do not break down proteins in kitty poo. Sift the litter well to remove.
  3. Prepare for your most successful composting by triple sifting all solids. Yes, I've mentioned this 3 times! That's how important it is.
  4. Compost bins require regular daily turns to circulate materials for faster composting. Turning your bit aerates the contents. Oxygen is imperative to the process. 
  5. Compost piles on the ground are the most budget-savvy, but do require added effort to turn and cover. It's really not hard. Read on....
  6. Compost piles on the ground require covers such as a heavy plastic bag or lg bin lid. 
    Hidden Compost Behind Bushes and Pool Equipment
  7. Best location is under an overhang of your roof.
  8. Composting requires daily H2O by turning pile. Balance ingredients with dead or dry matter and food scraps.
  9. To compost Swheat Scoop after sifting, add food scraps such as veggie ends and leftovers—NO proteins.
  10. Best compost speed comes from balancing H2O, SwheatScoop and green matter like food scraps.
  11. Easiest cat litter cleanup=recycled paper litterbox. Place box and contents in compost pile with food scraps.
  12. No protein or fats in compost pile. Examples: eggs (shells are okay), meat, oil, cheese, fish, and bones.
  13. Save fruit and veggie ends, peels and scraps for great compost. Also add coffee grounds for best pH balance. 
  14. Healthy pH helps compost smell better and cycle faster.
  15. Pickup FREE coffee grounds at your neighborhood Starbucks for healthier compost pH. 
  16. Compost also helps with smell, keeping animals off the trail to your pile.
  17. Compost is ready when all materials break down to look like a rough-textured soil or oatmeal.
  18. How long till compost is ready? First batch is slowest, probably a few months. Aerate by stirring daily to aid speed.
  19. Speed tip: Balance moisture, pH, dry and green matter. Stir and aerate often for fastest finished product.
  20. Critter aler: If you live in an area with wildlife, fence pile and cover with chicken wire or wire garden fencing to make it difficult to get at the contents underneath.
  21. What to do with finished compost? Add to flowers and veggie plants as soil enhancer and fertilizer. More blooms, healthier vegetation, more flavorful and healthier veggies and fruits.
  22. Enjoy the flavor of home-grown herbs and vegetables that are organic. Yum!
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