Tips and Solutions Detail

Garden Composting

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Composting

Don't throw away your kitchen and garden waste! Composting these organic materials creates a rich, black fertilizer full of nutrients and conditioners for your garden. Why spend money on expensive fertilizers when you already have all the ingredients you need to make a wonderful soil conditioner--ingredients that would otherwise end up in an already overflowing landfill?

Checklist

  • Lifetime composter
  • organic vegetable matter from your kitchen, including coffee grounds and egg shells
  • untreated grass clippings
  • dead leaves
  • sticks and twigs
  • wood ashes

Starting Your Compost

  • Keep a plastic bag or container in the kitchen to store your vegetable peelings, fruit rinds, and egg shells for later disposal into your compost heap.
  • If possible, use a bag on your lawnmower so that grass clippings** can be easily dumped into your composter.
  • Rake up those dead leaves and twigs in your lawn and flowerbeds and add them to your composter.
  • Scoop out the wood ashes from your fireplace or wood stove and mix them in with your other composting ingredients. They contain beneficial nutrients for your plants. FYI, hardwoods like maple and ash contain more than soft woods like pine and fir.

Maintaining Your Compost  

  • Regularly turn your composter to mix the materials and distribute the heat that is necessary for decomposition.
  • It will take a few weeks for your compost material to decompose into a rich, black crumbly loam that is ready to be spread onto your garden.

Important Tips!

Some organic material is not suitable for composting and can actually harm your plants. Do not put the following materials in your compost heap!

  • Meat (including grease) and dairy products because they create a very strong odor that will attract pests and insects to your garden
  • Grass clippings and yard vegetation that has been chemically treated with pesticides
  • Black walnut leaves and twigs because they release a substance that may be harmful to plants
  • Coal ashes because they contain sulfur and iron in amounts that are high enough to damage your plants
  • Diseased vegetation because it may transfer diseases or bugs to your garden plants
  • Dog, cat, or human waste because it may contain parasites

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