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Backyard Composting

Backyard composting uses bacteria, fungi and other soil organisms to decompose organic materials and return them to the soil. Compost - is essential to healthy gardens.

Composting needs three ingredients:

  • “Browns” - Dead leaves, twigs, and branches.

  • “Greens” - Grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, coffee grounds.

  • Water - Having the right amount is important for compost development.

Your compost pile needs an equal amount of browns & greens, with alternating layers of different-siz particles. Browns provide carbon, greens provide nitrogen, water provides moisture to break down the organic matter.

Composting enriches soil by creating humus (a nutrient-rich material) plus it reduces methane emissions from landfills & lowers your carbon footprint.

What You CAN Compost:

Fruits, Vegetables, Eggshells, Coffee grounds & filters, Tea bags, Nut shells, Shredded newspaper, Cardboard, Paper, Yard trimmings, Grass clippings, Hay, Leaves, Sawdust, Wood chips, Cotton Rags, Dryer Lint, Hair & fur, Fireplace ashes

What You CANNOT Compost

Black walnut tree leaves & twigs (has substances that can harm plants), Charcoal ash (has substances harmful to plants), Dairy products, eggs, fats, oils, meat or fish bones & scraps (odor problems; attracts rodents and flies), Diseased or insect-ridden plants (might be transferred to other plants), Dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter (parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens, viruses harmful to humans), Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides (can kill beneficial composting organisms)

How to Compost at Home

Pick a dry, shady spot near a water source for your compost pile or bin; add brown and green materials; moisten; mix grass clippings and green waste into the pile and bury fruit and vegetable waste under 10 inches. Optional: Cover with a tarp to keep it moist.

When material at the bottom is dark in color, your compost is ready to use. Takes 2-24 months.

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