Backyard Composting

Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.  Composting speeds up the natural process of decomposing.  The final product is will look like great garden soil and smell nice and earthy.  Here’s a quick video and a brochure to explain how to compost.  Here’s some ideas on how to build your own compost bin.

Once you’ve got your bin select a dry, shady spot near a water source for your compost pile or bin.  Add brown and green materials as they are collected, making sure larger pieces are chopped or shredded. Grass clippings are one of the best materials to add to your compost, it provides nutrients and it saves money on landfill disposal costs.  Moisten dry materials as they are added.  For best results, you need to mix in materials high in nitrogen like grass clippings and livestock manure.  If you don’t have these you might want to add some lawn fertilizer.  Once your compost pile is established, mix grass clippings and green waste into the pile and bury fruit and vegetable waste under 10 inches of compost material.  You can cover your bin with a tarp to keep it moist. Your compost is ready to use in your garden when the material at the bottom is dark and looks like garden soil.