Garden Design Tips

Composting is one of the most environmentally beneficial things you can do for the earth and for generations to come. Food and yard waste account for almost 1/3 of all waste that ends up in landfills. Composting diverts a significant amount of household waste from not only landfills but also from water treatment facilities.

What is composting? What do I need to make a compost area in my backyard? How does it all work? Can I compost everything?

Composting is a natural method of recycling organic materials into valuable humus. This humus helps balance the ph of the soil and helps retain moisture. It can reduce the soil temperature and reduce erosion.

The size of your compost area will depend mostly on how large of garden you have. The larger your yard and garden, the larger your compost heap can be. A nice size heap would be about 4 feet by 4 feet but there really is no perfect size.

Composting is basically taking organic material and letting it decompose. What were trying to do is match (or quicken) the rate at which this organic material decomposes to the same rate in which were creating the waste in the first place. There are a few factors which dictate the rate and these are; oxygenation, temperature, water content, particulate surface area, and the carbon to nitrogen ratio.

  • Things you can compost from your yard include; grass clippings, leaves, shrub and tree waste, sawdust and wood chips
  • Things you can compost from your household include; coffee grounds, tea bags, veggie and fruit scraps and corn husks
  • Things you can not compost are; human or pet excrement, greasy foods, dairy products, meat scraps and bones

Composting at home can also serve as a great learning tool, teaching young people about conservation and the cycle of life. Involving children in composting might even get them thinking about science or biology, maybe even volunteering at a local community garden.