Compost: Put Yard Waste to Work

The growing season is winding down and as you prepare your landscape for winter, you may find yourself with lots of yard waste. Instead of bagging it and tossing it into the garbage, why not make that yard waste continue to benefit your plants by composting?


What to put in your compost bin:

  • Leaves

  • Grass Clippings

  • Straw

  • Plant Debris

  • Food Waste: coffee grounds, fruit peels and cores, and vegetables

What not to compost:

  • Any plants which are diseased, such as plants with powdery mildew

  • Large squash and pumpkin vines which may take too long to decompose

  • Weeds that have gone to seed

  • Pet waste

  • Food Waste: meat, bones, dairy, or fats

What's in it for you?

Once the process is completed, your compost is best used in one of two ways:

  • Mulch - Spreading a layer of compost can help your garden or landscape retain moisture and suppress weeds.

  • Soil amendment - Colorado's dry, clay soil benefits from adding compost. It helps the soil retain moisture and improves air flow.

How it works

Compost needs time to break down, whether it is worked into the soil or applied on top. It can create a homogeneous soil mixture ripe with microbial activity. This process does not add many nutrients to the soil but improves the soil's capacity to hold onto both nutrients and water. It also improves the root zone. That's what makes it so beneficial to your landscape.


New to composting?

If you are a novice gardener or want to learn more about the ins and outs of composting, check out these articles:

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-use-compost/

https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/composting-yard-waste-7-212/



References

Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. (2020, Oct. 2). Tip of the week (email newsletter). https://www.alcc.com/tip-of-the-week-email

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