Composting

Compost is an excellent, inexpensive way to increase the productivity and workability of soil It reduces and recycles yard waste and produces excellent soil.  Help the garden, the environment, and the pocketbook by composting lawn and garden waste. To learn more about composting, click here.





Getting Started

Basics

You can begin compost either indoors or outdoors. For indoor composting, use a type of bucket and place it under your sink. For outdoor composting, you have more flexibility in the size of bin you can handle. Base the size of compost bin on how much waste you produce, do you have a large family or have a large garden? If your your answer is no to both, begin with a smaller box. If your answer was yes, then make space around your garden for a larger box. For ideas on how to build your box, click here.

Location

When choosing the location of your compost box, find a site that includes:

  • At least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  • A site that does not detract from the landscape.
  • Convenient for adding materials and removing compost.
  • Available water.
  • Acceptable materials.

Maintenance

A compost pile isn't just rotting garbage. Successful compost piles are structured as follows:

  • Turn pile every 2 to 4 weeks, and keep pile moist to speed composting, allow air circulation and eliminate unpleasant odors.
  • Build pile 3 to 5 feet tall, with and equal circumference. Small piles don't heat enough, and large piles don't receive enough air in the middle for good composting.
  • Apply a 1" layer of soil every 8 to 14 inces of organic waste to increase microbial activity
  • For more helpful hints, click here.

Acceptable and not acceptable materials to add to your bin:

Acceptable Not Acceptable

Grass Clippings
Leaves and Weeds
Manures
Coffee Grounds
Wood Chips and Sawdust
Bark,Stems, and Stalks
Gardening and Canning Waste
Fruits and Vegetables

Meats
Bones
Large Branches
Dairy Products
Synthetic Products
Plastics


Trouble Shooting

Strong odor?

  • Needs more oxygen. Turn the pile over more often to increase air circulations. If the material is too wet, add dry materials

Pile is damp, but won't heat?

  • Insufficient nitrogen, add fertilizer or grass clippings. The materials could also be too wet.

Ammonia smell?

  • Too much nitrogen, add sawdust or high carbon materials and turn the pile.