As the growing season winds down and you prepare your landscape for winter, you may find yourself with a lot of yard waste. Instead of bagging it and tossing it into the garbage, why not make that yard waste continue to benefit your plants by composting?
What to put in your compost bin:
- Grass clippings
- Plant debris
While you’re at it, you can also add food waste from indoors, like coffee grounds, fruit peels and cores, and vegetables.
What not to compost:
- Any plants which are diseased, such as plants with powdery mildew
- Large pumpkin and squash vines, which may take too long to decompose in your backyard compost
- Weeds that have gone to seed
- Pet waste
Food waste that should never go into your backyard compost includes, but is not limited to, meat, bones, dairy, or fats.
What’s in it for you?
Once the process is completed, your compost is best used in one of two ways:
- Mulch – Spreading a layer of compost can help your garden or landscape retain moisture and suppress weeds.
- Soil amendment – Colorado’s dry, clay soil benefits from adding compost. It helps the soil retain moisture and improves air flow.
How it works
Compost needs time to break down, whether it is tilled into the soil or applied atop it. It can create a homogeneous soil mixture ripe with microbial activity.
This process does not add many nutrients to the soil but improves the soil’s capacity to hold onto both nutrients and water. It improves the root zone. That’s what makes it so beneficial to your landscape.
Plus, by composting at home, you can reduce waste, save landfill space, and improve your landscape in the process.