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Home Composting Made Easy

Learn how to compost in your own backyard.

Whether you have a garden or are simply looking to fortify your lawn, composting can be a great way to strengthen your crop. Composting creates nutrient rich, neutralized soil from unwanted food scraps, yard waste and other decomposing organic matter. According to the USDA, composting helps to, “improve soil structure which contributes to good aeration and moisture-holding capacity.”

Don't be intimidated to try composting, it’s easy to get started and requires minimal maintenance. The simplest place to begin composting is your backyard. A DIY compost bin can be built by drilling holes into a plastic storage bin with the bottom lined with “brown” scraps. From there, vegetable, fruit and other “green” scraps can be added. 

If you don’t have space for gardening or composting at your home, the city of Mason has a community garden with composting capability. Applications to participate in the community garden can be found at ImagineMason.org.

5 Composting Tips

  1. Balance your compost with 50% green matter (grass clippings, fruit/vegetable scraps) and 50% brown matter, including leaves, egg cartons, coffee grounds, newspapers, etc. If compost is filled with green scraps only the compost can become wet or slimy. 

  2. Avoid adding any meat or animal matter, as this can create odor that attracts vermin. Also try to avoid any diseased plants or anything treated with pesticides. 

  3. Stir your compost bin every few days with a rake or shovel. This will help to aerate the compost and aid in the decomposition of newly added scraps. 

  4. Items will decompose faster when cut into smaller pieces, so consider chopping your materials up before stirring them into your compost. Make sure all paper has been shredded before composting. 

  5. Be patient! It can often take six months or longer for food scraps to fully compost. Items decompose quicker in warmer temperatures, so progress is much slower during winter.

Compost Things Like:

  • Egg Shells

  • Fruit and Vegetable Scraps

  • Coffee Grounds 

  • Shredded Paper Bags or Newspaper 

  • Grass Clippings

  • Dead Leaves

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