Natural Fertilizer – How to Create Compost

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There are few practices that make as much economic and environmental sense as creating compost out of yard wastes and kitchen scraps. Composting yard waste recycles nutrients back into the yard, helps retain moisture and saves landfill space. Composting reduces yard waste volume by 50 to 75 percent. Yard wastes currently represents from 26% of the total municipal solid waste in our country. The cost of collecting, hauling, and handling yard trash is a large share of the solid waste management expense.

If you have space for it, a compost pile or bin can be used to recycle yard wastes and kitchen scraps to make a perfect, nutrient rich soil additive. Not only can you add leaves and clippings from your yard, but fruit and vegetable peelings, fruit pulp from a juicer, dryer lint, coffee grounds, teabags, eggshells, shredded paper and sawdust can all be recycled to provide nutrients for your plants.

More Hints for Fertilizer & Compost

    • Don’t use a grass catcher when you mow. Leave the cut grass to act as mulch.
    • Leaves and pine needles can be raked and placed around trees for mulch.
    • Small branches can be collected into brush piles for use by visiting wildlife.
    • Large branches can be saved for firewood.
    • Pine cones, placed around trees, create an interesting look and provide protection and food for various forms of wildlife.
    • For an inexpensive alternative to landscape fabric, spread layers of 5 – 10 sheets of old newspaper down as a weed barrier before adding mulch to gardens.
    • Used coffee grounds and cooled down water from boiling or steaming vegetables can be poured directly onto the soil to add nutrients.
    • If local deed restrictions allow it, consider creating your own compost pile.
    • Contact your local solid waste department to find out what resources are available in your area for recycling and reusing various types of materials.
    • Buy some earthworms – Earthworms aerate your soil by creating passageways for air and water, all the while adding valuable nutrients to the soil. They can be purchased at many stores that sell fishing supplies. Release them into a nice layer of damp fallen leaves or other organic matter.For more information, visit these sites:

      Composting at Home – EPA Website
      Composting is Way Easier than you Think – NRDC Website

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