Cold or Hot Composting

The heat that is generated from the breaking down of organic matter into compost is known as hot composting. There is also cold composting, it doesn’t take as much of a commitment from you to upkeep or manage but it does take quite a bit longer to yield results.

Hot (or active) composting uses microbes to breakdown the matter. Some experts will recommend you inoculate the compost with live organisms purchased from a gardening supply store in order to get the process started. While others will recommend adding in healthy top soil as it also contains live organisms that will convert your organic matter into compost material. Either way, once the process is started your compost pile will generate heat. You should tend or check on your pile every second day to ensure good air circulation is maintained and that the right level of moisture is kept.

If you do not have the desire or time to maintain a regular compost bin, starting a cold compost (or slow compost) may suit you better. In a cold compost, you are only using your yard waste and grass clippings instead of a combination of outdoor material with your kitchen scraps. All that is required of you is to pile your leaves and grass clippings into a pile and wait. The process is slow and long – it will not yield usable compost for up to one year. Be careful not to put in any weeds or other undesirable plants, as there is no heat they will survive the composting process and can grow again when you use the finished material.

If you generate quite a bit of yard waste and it is too much to include in your regular compost bin consider using both methods. You can have the best of both composting methods.


Safety in the Summer Sun

Precautions should be taken year-round to protect young skin from the harsh effects of the sun. But this is especially important in the summertime when the sun is at its hottest. Aside from sunburns, heatstroke and dehydration are additional hazards to watch out for in young children. But with a few safety steps and by planning ahead you can avoid sunburns and the like.

The best way to prevent sunburns, heatstroke and dehydration is to stay out of the sun. But that isn’t practical or very fun. Buy sunscreen that is specifically made for children and be sure to apply it at least 30 minutes prior to going outside. This gives the sunscreen time to work. Once outside, reapply every two hours or more frequently if there is swimming or a sprinkler involved. There are many products that can be purchased to make this easier from colored sunscreen that goes clear after it is absorbed by the skin to spray brands to make application easier.

Once outside, a hat is still important. Ideally the hat will cover the face, ears and the back of the neck – all very sensitive body parts that are prone to getting burnt. Wearing a hat will also protect you and the kids against heatstroke. Have water available for each child when playing outside. The combination of them running around and the hot sun can quickly dehydrate little bodies.

Staying out of the sun from 11:00 a.m. until after 2:00 p.m. is the best prevention. This is the hottest time of the day and when the sun is at its peak. By avoiding the outdoors at this time of day you can prevent sun related illnesses. If this isn’t possible seek out some shade for the kids to take a break in. Avoiding the sun isn’t the solution it is being smart when you are out in it.