What is it?
Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments that lead to healthier, tastier produce and more vibrant, resilient flowers. It is decomposed organic matter reused for fertilizer to help your gardens and flowers grow.
The process is simple: gather wetted organic matter (leaves and food waste), wait for the materials to break down over a period of weeks or months, then distribute throughout flower and garden beds.
- Good items to add: vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, plant prunings and grass cuttings. Cardboard egg boxes, scrunched up paper and fallen leaves are slower to rot but provide vital fiber and carbon. Crushed eggshells add useful minerals.
- Avoid: Meat and dairy (unless you’ve opted for a digester), diseased plants, dog poop or cat litter, perennial weeds (such as dandelions and thistle) or weeds with seed heads. Plastics, glass and metals are not suitable for composting and should be recycled separately.
Click on this link to learn how to make compost tea, a rich fertilizer that is sprayed onto plants for better results.
Benefits of Composting
- Environmentally friendly: Yard trimmings and food waste make up 27 percent of landfills, according to the Muncie Sanitary District. If more people compost, less usable waste crowds landfills.
- Saves you money: Compost is cheap.
- Enhances gardens and flowers: Using compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity—all of which lead to healthier, tastier produce and more vibrant, resilient flowers.
Don’t want to go to the trouble of composting in your backyard? The Muncie Sanitary District offers low-cost mulch for flower and garden beds. [Contact the district]