Composting Tips

Compost is decomposed organic matter that is rich in nutrients that are good for your lawn and other plants in your yard. Making your own compost saves landfill space and makes great natural food for your lawn at the same time. Composting can be as simple as making a pile of a mix of leaves, twigs, bark, grass, and food waste and letting it sit for between 6 months to a year. A turning unit with multiple bins can speed things up, but requires more work.

Adding a top dressing of compost to your lawn in the spring or fall is a great way to improve soil quality. Another option is to make a compost tea and spray it on your lawn. Compost tea allows the grass to access the nutrients quicker than dry compost and has been shown to help make your lawn more disease and insect resistant.

Many types of yard and food wastes can be composted, such as leaves, grass, bark, and twigs. If you do decide to build a turning unit or have one made, the process can be complete between 6 to 10 weeks. You want to have at least a 2 to 1 ratio of carbon rich wastes, called “browns” such as leaves, twigs and bark, to nitrogen rich wastes, called “greens”, like grass, weeds and food waste. Keeping the compost slightly moist and aerated will help decomposition.  After you put the wastes into the first bin,  at first the temperature should start to rise, as the microorganisms reproduce and start breaking down the material.  Once the temperature starts to fall, you turn the compost into the next bin.  After repeating this a few times,  the temperature will level off and you will be left with a mature compost that is great for your lawn.