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Making Compost

Mini Floral Longnose Snip
Mini Floral Longnose Snip


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A plant or garden can never get enough compost because soil can always be improved with additional organic matter. Compost is organic matter that has broken down sufficiently such that its mineral and nutrient components can be readily absorbed by plants. You can either buy compost or create compost yourself.

In order to create compost, you will need to dump yard scraps in a corner of the yard. Alternatively, you can also collect the yard scraps in a composter bin. An ideal blend would involve equal amounts of soft/green material (like manure and leaves) and hard/brown material (dead leaves or chopped twigs). Whenever you mow or rake your lawn, add your grass clipings and leaf rakings to your compost heap. An ideal compost pile reaches 3-4 feet high.

In order for compost to be formed, significant air is required. Aeration can be provided by moving the pile with a pitchfork. However, you can also add perforated PVC pipes the center of the pile to help aerate compost piles.

Tip: High temperatures will help to semisterilize the compost, killing disease spores and other pests.

After you have accumulated a heap of compost, add a compost started or a garden soil to help jump-start the decomposition of the organic materials. You can also speed up the decay of organic material by breaking up your organic matter (such as twigs) into smaller pieces before adding them to the pile.

Sources of Organic Matter

Soft and Green
  • Livestock manure
  • Fruit and vegetable peels
  • Grass clippings
  • Green leaves
  • Alfalfa
  • Peat moss
  • Seedless weeds
Hard and Brown
  • Wood chips
  • Ground-up twigs
  • Sawdust
  • Pruning scraps
  • Brown leaves
  • Straw
  • Shredded bark

Composting is Environmentally-Friendly – Recycling Organic Matter Can Help Cut Down On Waste!

Organic matter makes up approximately one-third of the waste that we produce in our homes. This waste often is thrown into landfills in plastic bags, which cannot decompose. Garbage in plastic bags can actually be dug up intact 100 years later! This is an awful waste of precious landfill space. Better use of this organic matter can be used if it is recycled, and re-useable compost is made from it.