With spring almost here, we are entering a season of warmer days that creates excellent conditions for our gardens to thrive. For those wanting to step up their gardening game, one of the best ways to keep your garden flourishing is by adding compost. In addition to being a great fertilizer, compost helps the soil to be healthier and retain moisture, which in turn makes plants grow better. It also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, which can be washed away with stormwater runoff and end up polluting our watersheds.
Composting may initially seem to be complicated, but it does not have to be. In fact, all you need to get started making compost can be found in your kitchen or yard. Aside from water and air, compost requires two other main ingredients:
- Browns: Examples of browns can include items such as twigs, branches, old leaves, and newspapers.
- Greens: Examples of greens are grass and lawn clippings as well as fruit and vegetable scraps.
*For a full list of composting ingredients, see here
Once you have your browns and greens, you can get started with composting using these five simple steps:
- Find a dry and shady area in your garden to place your compost bin or pile.
- Add your browns and greens that you’ve already collected from your kitchen and yard. Be sure to place these in alternate layers.
- Add water regularly to your pile to keep your compost moist.
- Cover your pile to help retain moisture and heat as well to keep animals from eating the food scraps.
- Turn your compost pile every 7-10 days using a compost-turning tool, garden fork, or shovel. This helps to quicken the composting process and provides air to your compost pile.
With frequent turning and depending on the time of the year, your compost can be ready in as little as 3 months or as long as 6 months.
Looking for premade compost for your garden?
If you’re a Highland resident, you’re in luck! Stop by Highland City Hall (27215 Base Line) on March 14, 2020 from 8:00-12:00 to pick up your FREE compost. For more information on this event, contact the Public Services Division at 909-864-8732 ext. 271.
This free compost event is:
- Open to Highland Residents ONLY (proof of residency will be required)
- A self-service program, therefore participants must provide their own shovels & assistance to load their vehicles (a tarp is recommended for open bed trucks or trailers)
- Available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For our friends who do not live in Highland, you may be able to get finished compost from your city or you can contact the Chino Basin Water Conservation District. If you have more tips on composting, let us know!
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