Yes - Please Compost!  You'll Make Black Gold!

It's free, eco friendly and your plants will think you are giving them champagne and caviar!

Adding compost improves soil fertility and encourages root development in plants. Compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration, and it increases the soil's water-holding capacity.

Making your own compost from from a mixture of green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon rich) ingredients like recycling kitchen waste (freeze until ready to add to compost bin to prevent decomposing odors and fruit flies), garden trimmings, and leaves is an economical way to enrich the soil and create a beautiful garden. 

SEE BELOW FOR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS IN COMPOST RECIPE 

 

Compost Containers

Many options - homemade (see photo) or commercial.
Compost bins include: 50 gallon plastic drums, rolling containers with handles to tumble; large outdoor trash cans, etc.

Key Factors in selecting container and outdoor site:

1.  Must have a cover or a tarp to prevent critters or bug invasion.

2.  Locate near source for water - compost cooks faster when damp, not soggy.

3.  Do not store bin in full sunlight - ingredients actually produce heat,

4.  Compost must be turned once a week.  We use a short handle pitch fork.

COMPOST RECIPE BELOW

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Compost Recipe

Continue to next section to learn about GREEN and BROWN Ingredients


Compost Recipe

  • Collect kitchen scraps and other "green" items and place in compost bin. (see next section for "green" compost list) 

  • Add brown compost materials (see next section for "brown" compost list). 

  • Repeat with another green and brown layer always ending with brown compost to prevent odors that will attract bugs and animals.

  • Add 2 shovels full of garden soil and 1 handful of fertilizer (10-10-10).

  • Worms welcomed! Worms consume 4-6 pounds of food scraps per week!

  • Lightly water the compost pile with a garden hose. You want the compost materials damp but not soggy.

  • Don't forget to cover bin or pile.

Mix and Add to Keep Compost Cookiin'

  • Mix the compost layers once a week either by rotating a tumbling compost bin or mixing the materials with a garden fork. 

  • Keep compost moist, not soggy.

  • Add additional layers of green and brown as available, always ending with brown on top.

  • The compost will "cook" and may produce steam. 

  • Depending on the season, the compost could be ready in 6 weeks to 3 months. 

  • Hot weather helps it decompose quicker.

Feed your plants

Black Gold!!!

  • Compost is ready when it has transformed into rich black soil. It will not burn your plants.

  • Instead of tilling the compost into your garden bed, make it spread farther by mixing it with soil in individual planting holes, then add the plant.

 
Colorful Leaves

BROWN Compostable Waste: 

Always add more brown than green compost materials, ending with brown on top layer to prevent odor and flies.

  • Dead leaves, shredded (but no walnut leaves)

  • Dryer lint

  • Vacuum dirt or floor crumbs

  • Cold fireplace wood ashes

  • Untreated wood sawdust

  • Black & white newspaper shredded

  • Used paper napkins

  • Used paper towels

  • Unwaxed cardboard (must rip into small pieces)

  • Paper bag (must shred)

  • Cereal Box (must shred)

  • Unwaxed used paper plates

  • Nut Shells (except walnut shells)

  • Toothpicks

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GREEN Compostable Waste

  • Grass clippings that have not been chemically treated

  • Fruit & vegetable scraps  (keep frozen to avoid smell until time to take to compost

  • Coffee grounds and filters

  • Tea bags and loose tea

  • Stale cereal or stale potato chips

  • Stale bread, tortillas and pitas

  • Hair and fur

  • Leftover cooked rice or pasta

  • Crushed egg shells

  • Houseplants

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CAUTION: Do NOT Add to Compost

  • Meat or Fish (bones or flesh scraps)

  • ​Sunflowers or sunflower plants

  • Weeds or Diseased plants

  • Domestic animal waste

  • Meats & Dairy

  • Human waste (diapers)

  • Coal or Charcoal ashes

  • Grease or Cooking oil

  • Glue, latex, rubber

  • Treated plywood

  • Pottery or Ceramics

  • Glass

  • Plastic

  • Walnuts or walnut leaves