General Information Compost is the end product of organic decomposition of yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, small tree and shrub trimmings, and wood chips) and kitchen waste (coffee grounds, raw vegetable peelings, fruit skins and peelings). These materials decompose naturally with moisture and oxygen.
Composting is a practical and convenient way to transform yard and kitchen waste into a resource. Compost is a natural fertilizer that can be placed in indoor and outdoor flower pots, around shrubs and trees and in gardens.
Using Compost Fertilizer Use compost as an additive to garden soil. To create a rich additive, mix a layer of compost 1-3 inches thick into garden soil. The compost adds small amounts of nutrients to the soil and makes the soil easier to cultivate; improves drainage and aeration of clay soils; supplies extra nutrients to plants; and encourages earthworm activity.
Mulch Use compost as mulch around trees, shrubs, flowers and garden plants. To create a rich mulch, apply it in 2-3 inch layers on top of the soil around trees, shrubs, flowers and garden plants. This type of mulch is valuable because it helps reduce rainfall run-off; decreases water evaporation; prevents soil erosion by wind and water; helps control weeds; keeps the soil cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather; and has a pleasing appearance.
Potting Soil Use compost as a blended potting soil mixture. To create a rich potting soil, blend with soil, sand and other materials to make potting mix for potted plants. The compost helps potting soil stay soft while water is held in the mixture of compost, soil and sand.