Home composting - Ana

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  • 1. Composting 101 September 12, 2009
  • 2. What is Composting?
    • A simple way to recycle your yard trimmings and protect the environment!
      • Grass
      • Leaves
      • Garden trimmings
    • Composting is a natural process in which yard waste materials decompose into a dark, nutrient-rich, sweet-smelling soil conditioner.
  • 3. Benefits of Composting
    • Saves by reducing the need to use synthetic fertilizers.
    • Increases the productivity of lawns and gardens by improving soil fertility and health.
    • Saves water by helping soil retain moisture.
    • Reduces water runoff from rain and melting snow.
    • Benefits the environment by recycling valuable organic resources back into the soil.
  • 4. The Compost Equation
    • Brown
    • Material
    + Green Material Air Water + = COMPOST +
  • 5. Composting at Home
    • What works best for you?
      • Hot vs. Cool Composting
        • Hot: faster results, requires additional maintenance
        • Cool: slower results, less labor involved
      • Bin vs. No Bin
        • Bin: prevents heat loss, retains moisture, aesthetics
        • No Bin: easier to turn materials; less labor
  • 6. Acceptable Materials to Compost
    • Carbon - brown materials such as:
      • dry leaves -cotton rags
      • woodchips -dryer lint
      • straw
      • sawdust
    • Nitrogen - green materials such as:
      • plant trimmings
      • grass -coffee grounds
      • flowers -fresh hay
      • pruning -tea bags
      • nut shells
  • 7. How to Compost
    • Place some branches on the bottom (not necessary)
    • Add brown materials and green materials until the bin is full.
    • Water lightly.
    • Turn your compost pile every week or two. Move the dry materials from the edges of the pile into the middle of the pile.
    • Your compost will be “ready” in one to four months (this will vary). Before using the finished compost, let the compost sit for at least two weeks.
  • 8. Tips to Remember
    • Get the right temperature
    • Keep the pile moist
    • Let the pile
    BREATHE
  • 9. Aerating the Pile
  • 10. Troubleshooting Add brown materials such as dry leaves, dry straw or shredded paper.
    • The compost pile is emitting an odor – a well maintained pile seldom has a bad odor.
    Add green materials such as grass clippings and turn the pile to aerate.
    • Nothing is happening
    Add brown materials such as dry leaves, dry straw, shredded paper, or sawdust.
    • The compost pile is too wet – this stops any activity in your compost pile
    Add water and/or green materials such as grass clippings. You want the pile to feel moist to the touch similar to a wet sponge.
    • The compost pile is too dry – bacteria needs moisture to survive and reproduce
    Solution Problem
  • 11. “ It’s Worth the Time!”
  • 12. The Result
    • Healthy Plant Growth
      • Proper root growth
      • “ Good” bacteria growth
      • Maintains health of plants
      • Suppression of diseases
      • Slow release of nutrients into soil
    Control Soil With Compost Brinton, William F., Soil - Plant - Compost, Woods End Research Laboratory
  • 13. Internet Resources for Composting Information
    • www.montgomerycountymd.gov/recycling
    • www.mde.state.md.us/Programs/LandPrograms/Recycling/Education/compostinfo.asp
    • www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/composting/index.htm
    • www.p2pays.org/compost/composting101.asp
    • www.compostingcouncil.org
    • www.css.cornell.edu/compost/Composting_Homepage.html
  • 14. Any Questions
    • Montgomery County
    • Department of Environmental Protection
    • Division of Solid Waste Services
    • Waste Reduction and Recycling Section
    • 101 Monroe Street, 6 th Floor
    • Rockville, MD 20850
    • 240-777-6400 (Phone)
    • 240-777-6442 (TTY)
    • 240-777-6465 (Fax)
    • www.montgomerycountymd.gov/recycling
    • [email_address]