Backyard composting
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MECKLENBURG COUNTY SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY. Backyard Composting. Producing your own “Black Gold”. The Natural Cycle. Leaves Decomposing. The breakdown releases nutrients. Backyard Composting. Where to place your compost pile. Within reach of a garden hose Convenient to your house

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Backyard Composting

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Backyard composting

MECKLENBURG COUNTY SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY

Backyard Composting

Producing your own “Black Gold”


The natural cycle

The Natural Cycle


Leaves decomposing

Leaves Decomposing


The breakdown releases nutrients

The breakdown releases nutrients


Backyard composting1

Backyard Composting


Where to place your compost pile

Where to place your compost pile

  • Within reach of a garden hose

  • Convenient to your house

  • If possible, away from trees or bushes (roots will find compost)

  • At least 30’ from streams, wells or lakes (nitrogen runoff)

  • Be considerate of your neighbor’s view

  • Think: Two Piles


Materials for making a bin

Materials for making a bin


Measure out 12 feet of wire

Measure out 12 ½ feet of wire


Cut one end flush one w prongs

Cut one end flush, one w/prongs


Set upright forming a cylinder

Set upright forming a cylinder


Fasten ends w prongs facing out

Fasten ends w/prongs facing out


Completed bin

Completed bin


Start with a layer of leaves

Start with a layer of leaves


Easy measuring 3 sections 1

Easy measuring: 3 sections = 1’


Break up any clumps

Break up any clumps


50 lbs provides organic nitrogen

50 lbs provides organic nitrogen


Sprinkle some on top of first layer

Sprinkle some on top of first layer


Use pellets instead of meal

Use pellets instead of meal


Mix pellets into the leaves

Mix pellets into the leaves


As damp as a wrung out sponge

As damp as a wrung out sponge


Add another layer of leaves

Add another layer of leaves


Each layer approximately 1

Each layer approximately 1’


More pellets

More pellets


Mix together

Mix together


Add water to each layer

Add water to each layer


Cap with final layer of leaves

Cap with final layer of leaves


Completed batch

Completed batch


Adding kitchen scraps

Adding kitchen scraps


Place scraps into the hole

Place scraps into the hole


Push down into the pile

Push down into the pile


Cover scraps with leaves

Cover scraps with leaves


Mark the spot for reference

Mark the spot for reference


Pile heats up volume decreases

Pile heats up, volume decreases


Turning the pile

Turning the pile

  • Turn one week after assembling

  • Turn at least every three to four weeks

  • The more you turn the pile, the faster it will decompose

  • If you have more than one pile, you can combine piles as they decrease in volume


Unfasten the prongs

Unfasten the prongs


Unwrap the pile

Unwrap the pile


Set up near first pile

Set up near first pile


Toss the pile back into the bin

Toss the pile back into the bin


Add water if necessary

Add water, if necessary


Pile starting to breakdown

Pile starting to breakdown


Worms love compost

Worms love compost


Compost in action

Compost in action


Less fertilizer needed

Less fertilizer needed


Compost loosens our clay soils

Compost loosens our clay soils


What can go into a compost pile

What can go into a compost pile?

  • Leaves

  • Fruit/vegetable peels, stems

  • Spoiled fruit and vegetables

  • Egg shells

  • Coffee grounds and filters

  • Tea leaves and bags

  • Hard-shelled nuts (crushed)


What can go into a compost pile1

What can go into a compost pile?

  • Peanut Shells

  • Clam and oyster shells (ground)

  • Canning/preserving wastes

  • Stale bread

  • Used napkins/paper towels

  • Manure from horses, cows and chickens

  • Recycled compost


What should not be included

What should not be included:

  • Dog droppings

  • Cat litter and droppings

  • Charcoal Ashes

  • Chemically treated plant material

  • Invasive weeds and plants

  • Diseased or infested plants

  • Glossy slick paper

  • Poisonous or thorny plants


Where to use your compost

Where to use your compost

  • New garden beds and plantings

    • Dig in 2-3” of compost in top 6”

  • Vegetable gardens/transplants

    • 2-3” on beds and some in each hole

  • Existing garden beds

    • 1” layer around plants


Where to use your compost1

Where to use your compost

  • Natural areas

    • ½” under mulch

  • Side dressings trees/shrubs

    • Scratch ½” from 1” out from the stem or trunk of plant out to drip line

  • Lawns

    • After aeration, spread ½” of compost and rake in

  • Houseplants

    • 2/3 potting soil, 1/3 compost


Other uses

Other uses:

  • Compost Tea

  • Unfinished Compost


Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting

Worms:

  • Can be bred easily at home or school

  • Can be used to recycle organic waste from your kitchen into valuable fertilizer

  • Produce castings which have a neutral pH (around 7)

  • Castings increase the amount of nutrient available to your plants by up to 10 times.

  • Castings increase crop and pasture yields

  • Increase the level of essential microbial activity in the soil

  • Consume their own body weight in food every day

  • Double in population every 2-3 months, in ideal conditions


Backyard composting

  • What do I need?

    • An aerated container

    • Bedding such as shredded newspaper

    • Moisture and proper temperature

    • Small amount of soil

    • Redworms (Eisenia fetida)


Backyard composting

  • Q&A

Compost Central

704 588 5898

Steve Elliot

CAROL BUIE-JACKSON

704 814 0877

[email protected]

www.smelllikedirt.com

Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Authority

www.wipeoutwaste.com


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