Resolve to live more sustainably by creating a compost pile to help reduce household waste.
Compost can be used to improve garden soil and make gardens more productive. With organization and a designated space, home gardeners can amend their own soil through composting.
Start by finding a space where the compost can cook. The location should be in full sun, at least 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet, out of the way and with good drainage.
A compost container can be built with materials like welded wire, fencing, pallets or blocks. Open spaces should be left on the container’s sides to allow air circulation through the pile, and the bottom should be open to the ground.
Almost any organic plant material can be used for composting, including grass clippings, leaves, flowers, weeds, twigs, chopped brush, old vegetable plants, straw and sawdust.
For the best decomposition, mix a variety of materials. The smaller the pieces of organic matter, the faster they will decompose. Once a layer of organic matter is added, add a little garden soil or manure.
Compost is ready when it looks like rich, crumbly earth and the original organic material is gone.
This compost can be added to soil before planting vegetables, trees, shrubs or flowers. It also can be mulch on the soil surface or potting soil for container plants.
For more on how to compost, see UGA Extension publication C981 at www.extension.uga.edu/publications/.