Gardening Articles and Videos

Composting and Cleaning up your garden - do's and don'ts
2/10/2012 | Sheryl McGlochlin

Article image: Composting and Cleaning up your garden - do's and don'ts

Learn much more about Composting, CLICK HERE

It's February and we are cleaning up all of our gardens from the fall and winter.

Here are a few tips for recycling materials back into your garden.


List of compost materials we recycle back into our gardens.  These are not sent to the land-fill.

  • Grass Clippings
  • Leaves
  • Weeds
  • Manures
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Wood Chips
  • Saw Dust
  • Bark
  • Stems
  • Stalks
  • Garden and Canning Waste
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

What we do NOT put back into our gardens or into our Compost Piles:

  • Meat
  • Fatty Foods
  • Bones
  • Large Branches
  • Dairy Products
  • Synthetic Products
  • Plastics
  • Pet Wastes

Adding some of these products to your compost pile will attract rats, raccoons and insects.



Best size for composting:

For optimal composting, materials should be smaller than 2 inches.  These will compost much faster than larger items.

We compost leaves that are much larger than 2 inches but we gather them up, take them to some of our larger gardens, drizzle them over the soil, then till them into the soil, which helps to chop them up into smaller pieces, which helps the composting process move much faster.


Successful composting needs 3 things:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Nutrients


The best way to compost: 

You can make a pile, a box, a bin, a barrel, etc. to keep your compost in but...

The very best way to compost is to get the compost materials back into the garden, to be tilled into your soil asap.

This will allow your compost to get more air, water and bacteria from the soil, helping it to break down much faster than it would in a bin, barrel, pile or box.


How to know when your compost is ready?

Compost is ready when it is: 

  • Dark
  • Crumbly
  • Earthy odor
  • Non-offensive odor
  • Looks rich and gorgeous!!