Recycle Your Garden Waste
Composting is the perfect way to recycle much of your yard and kitchen waste. It helps to reduce what we send to the landfill. Better yet, it turns that waste into "black gold" for the garden and landscape. When you're working in the yard, it's always surprising how quickly the debris accumulates.
Bring It On
From the landscape, almost anything that was growing is fair game. Grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw, pine needles, wood chips, and other yard trimmings can all be composted. From the kitchen, any leafy greens or vegetable matter (potato skins, carrot peels, watermelon rinds, and so forth) can be added to the compost pile.
Throw It Out
From the kitchen, never put any kind of meat or meat byproducts into the compost pile. Decaying meat smells bad, attracts rodents, and may grow harmful bacteria. From the garden, avoid adding diseased leaves or branches to the compost pile. Most compost piles will not get hot enough to kill off the offenders and could be transferred back to the garden when the compost is used. Also, large tree branches or twigs that are more than a half inch or so in diameter may be very slow to decompose.
Go for the Layered Look
Alternate layers of fresh green matter (grass clippings, kitchen waste, and so forth) and dry material (leaves, straw, twigs) in the pile, keep it damp by watering during dry periods. If you can, turn the pile over with a pitchfork about once a month. In a few months to a year's time, you'll have beautiful dark brown compost to add to your flower beds or vegetable garden.