Compost is decomposed organic matter, made from leaves, grass clippings, wood chips and fruit and vegetable scraps. Added to your soil or sprinkled on your yard and garden, it helps grass and plants to thrive. Unlike some fertilizers, compost will not run off your yard and pollute Austin’s creeks and waterways.
Recipe for Compost
Composting is easy. Simply put different yard trimmings such as leaves and grass clippings in a bin or pile. You should have a mix of green material and brown material. Add water so the pile is slightly damp. Let the pile sit for 12 to 16 months.
You can add fruit and vegetable scraps and other materials as generated. Cover new kitchen scraps with leaves or bury them in the pile. If the pile dries out, add more water to keep it damp.
After 12 to 16 months, most of the material at the bottom of the pile will be dark, rich sweet-smelling compost. Sift or sort out large undecomposed materials and sprinkle the rest on your yard and garden.
For faster results, turn the pile at least once a month. The pile should reach a temperature of 130 to 160 degrees and will be ready in 6 to 9 months. The more frequently you turn the pile, the faster your compost will be ready.
What Can Be Composted?
• Grass Clippings
• Yard Trimmings (old plants, wilted flowers, small prunings)
• Vegetable & Fruit Scraps
• Coffee Grounds
• Tea Leaves
• Wood Chips
• Shredded Paper (Low grade paper not acceptable for recycling)
What to Avoid
• Meat, Fish and Poultry (including bones)
• Food Sauces
• Fats, Grease, and Oils
• Dairy Products
• Pet Feces
• Invasive Weeds
• Treated Wood (or any materials containing strong preservatives or toxins)
• Ashes and charcoal
• Non-organics (plastic, metal, glass, etc…)
SoilSaver Composter & Kitchen Scrap Carrier
Give Mother Nature a Hand…without lifting a finger!
Sponsored by Rutland County Solid Waste District
The SoilSaver Composter and Kitchen ScrapCarrier is available year round at the RCSWD offices.
Vermicomposting is the use of earthworms, red wiggle worms work the best, to convert organic waste into fertilizer. There a few differences between backyard composting and vermicomposting, the obvious one being the use of worms instead of heat. In conventional composting, the organic matters combine to create an environment suitable for micro-organisms to break them down into the brown soil that plants thrive on, also referred to as Humus. With vermicomposting, the worms are put into a container either bought online or a DIY bin with some soil, food scraps, and bedding. The worms eat and live in this material so there is no need to flip it every week for aeration as you would with traditional compost. Vermicomposting also is much more nutrient rich and is concentrated with high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen. A by-product referred to as ‘compost tea’ is produced and can be collected at the bottom of the container, diluted with water and given to plants to provide a very nutrient-rich drink.