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What is Compost?

Benefits of Composting

Using Finished Compost

Compost & Nutrition


Composting Systems

Siting Your Compost Area



What to Compost

Stages of Composting

The Carbon:Nitrogen Ratio

Compost Activators

Turning Your Compost


Quick Start Guide

The Add-as-you-go Pile

The Batch Pile

Grass Clippings

Food Scraps

Leaves, Weeds &
Garden Debris

Compost Tea

Worm Composting


Troubleshooting Guide

Ask Professor Rot



Professor Rot says:

Composting gives you the chance to look as if you know what you're doing even if you don't. That's okay, the little bacterial critters in your compost bin will cover for you!


Why in the world would you want to compost in the first place? Do you even know what compost is? What do you do with the stuff when you've made it? What are the nutritive qualities of compost for your plants or vegetables?

One of the best ways to jump into composting is to understand the value of finished compost. This part of our website will briefly address the above questions. Click on the title to quickly go to the topic:

Note: These topics are also addressed in our 32-page guide, Home Composting Made Easy.



home compost binYour choice to compost has incredible benefits for you, your yard, home, and the earth. Imagine this: the waste stream out of your home can lessen by as much as 35% just by composting kitchen and yard waste! Let's look at a few ways that composting is beneficial.


Composting Saves $$$ and Resources

  • Less garbage means lower garbage bills. That's a good deal if you're paying for that extra refuse bin to throw compostable organic material away at the street. Understand the regulations of your local waste management district to determine if you are allowed to compost at home.

  • Fewer costly dump-runs. If you are periodically running to the dump with a load of yard waste that could more easily be composted, well, rethink your strategy and save some money.

  • Lessens the burden on landfills. Now this is a BIG issue these days. Numerous municipalities are trying hard to educate the public about how to compost and recycle effectively so that landfills do not become mere dumping grounds for laziness, ignorance, or over-consumption.

  • Free soil additive and natural fertilizer. Well-made compost is naturally balanced with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N-P-K), and is nutrient-rich with a host of beneficial microorganisms. This means you are "growing the soil" without artificial inputs such as synthetic fertilizers that are often too high in nitrogen. A healthy organic soil makes for more nutritional vegetables. So, stop buying those expensive synthetic fertilizers that destroy your soil and wind-up in the wastestream through run-off! See Compost & Nutrition for more information. Also order our 32-page guide, Gardening for Optimal Nutrition.

  • Lowers water bills when used as a soil mulch. Seasonal additions of compost (for example, Spring and Fall) protects exposed soils from drying out. The soil retains moisture beneath top-dressings of compost and this means less watering!


Composting Can Make You Feel GREEN
(and I don't mean sick!)

  • Want to feel proud about doing your part to conserve Earth's resources? COMPOST!

  • What to protect and improve your home environment, including wildlife? COMPOST!

  • Want to gain some neighborhood notoriety? COMPOST!

  • Want to add to a sustainable future for planet Earth? You got it: COMPOST!


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IN A NUTSHELL: Composting Improves the Soil and Is a Valuable Mulch!

  • Compost returns nutrients to the soil such as phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and many trace minerals, all to be released slowly over 1-2 years for optimal plant growth & health.
  • Compost is a natural fertilizer that improves soil aeration, tilth & drainage.
  • Compost, as a top-dressing, promotes weed control by suppressing growth. Furthermore, improved tilth makes it more difficult for weeds to anchor roots.
  • Compost controls erosion by creating good tilth.
  • Compost protects plant roots from sun and wind damage.
  • Compost conserves water, when used as a mulch: the soil retains moisture beneath it.
  • Compost increases water retention when absorbed into loose or sandy soils. It aids drainage in clay or other heavy soils.
  • Compost reduces soil diseases because of its high nutrient content.



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Home Composting
Made Easy

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