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Compost is organic matter that has broken down sufficiently such that its mineral and nutrient components can be readily absorbed by plants. A soil can never get enough compost because soil can always be improved with additional organic matter. Recycling organic matter is very important if you want a healthy garden in an area with otherwise poor soil.

Composting helps to reduce our household and outdoor waste. Through composting, not only are we reducing the amount of waste that goes towards landfills, but we can also contribute towards our natural and self-sustaining gardens.

Sources of Organic Matter for Home Composting

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

Home compost bins can be purchased from hardware and gardening stores. A compost bin can be filled with alternating layers of soft and green matter, and hard and brown layers. It will take approximately 4 months for organic matter to break down. But after 4 months, the organic matter should be ready to spread into your garden or on top of established beds.

For more information about composting, please see the articles below.