Backyard Composting

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Composting tips

  • Location, location, location
  • Needs good water drainage
  • Partially shaded spot is best

Composting three-step

  1. Materials: Always feed your bin with equal amounts of greens and browns and make sure to layer the material.
  2. Moisture: Keep your pile damp with light watering, as needed. Note that if it's too wet, the materials will become too high in carbon (brown).
  3. Aerate: Turn your pile frequently.

Finished compost

  • If all steps are followed properly, you should have compost in two to three months
  • To speed up process, add new materials in tiny pieces, aerate your pile more often and add a layer of garden soil or manure.
  • Piles are ready when there is no longer traces of green or brown material.
  • The bottom of your pile will show signs of completion before the top.

Compost materials


  • Bread (no butter)
  • coffee grounds/filters
  • egg shells
  • fruit scrapes
  • house plants
  • vegetable scraps
  • feathers
  • grass (limited amounts)
  • hair


  • Sawdust
  • dryer lint
  • grass clippings
  • dried grass clippings
  • leaves
  • woodchips
  • straw
  • small sticks and twigs
  • natural cotton and wool rags


  • Barbecue charcoal
  • fish
  • meats
  • dairy products
  • bones
  • oils
  • fats
  • diseased or insect-infested plants
  • feces
  • weeds with mature seeds

Winter composting

Continue to compost as normal as a little snow or sub-zero temperatures doesn’t put an end to the biological process of composting. Save fall leaves or dry grass clippings to use throughout the winter.