Welcome back, readers! In some recent blog posts, we’ve been talking about Fall bulb ideas for Spring, Fall lawn and garden planning, and how to plant bulbs. In addition to those, this week we’ll discuss Fall composting, natural items that are safe to compost, and a few other tips and resources!

Fall Garden Composting Tips

Fall Composting Tips!

What is Composting?

First of all, what IS composting exactly and why don’t more people do it? Consequently, some have heard that composting smells terrible and as a result, they steer clear. However, composting odors come from lack of air circulation or just by adding the wrong ingredients. Both issues can be solved rather easily, though. Furthermore, many wonder what the benefits are? (Hint: Sustainability, waste reduction, and reducing your carbon footprint are just a few of the perks!) Let’s take a quick leap into learning more about composting by watching this video:

Composting #101

First, leaves give a great “foundation” when beginning a composting project. Hence, Fall is a great time to start! Plus, you can use other natural products around your home that you’d otherwise be throwing out AND increase the organic substances/matter in your soil! From manure (be sure to research best composting practices and what NOT to add — example: no dog or cat manure allowed) to shredded leaves, every gardener has their golden arrow of success. Next, composting takes a little time and research, but once you determine what works best for you, it’s easy! If you’re ready to take the next step and want to create one (or three), take a look at your home’s leftovers by referring to the below lists.

Compost Bin

Compost bins can be built in many different styles. Here’s one of our favorites!

Note: what can go into your compost bin is sometimes a head scratcher, but they each have their benefit. Here are some top choices:

10 Kitchen Compost Items:

  • Shredded cardboard from cereal boxes, etc.
  • Old herbs and spices (including tea leaves)
  • Fruit and vegetable trimmings
  • Eggshells (dried AND crushed)
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Stale bread or potato chips
  • Expired pasta sauces
  • Shredded paper towel rolls (cardboard only)
  • Shredded boxes (sans any plastic)
  • Broken-up wine corks

transparent-glass-icon-business-light-onGardenalia Tip: If you’re adding eggshells to a compost bin let them dry for a few days. If you’re concerned about salmonella, click here. Pressed for time? Some people place the eggshells in a warm oven to help speed up the drying processes! Avoid cooking them!

Mulched Garden Bed

You can use a combination of mulch and compost. It’s suggested to place the compost around the plant first and then spread/even out with mulch.

10 Bathroom Compost Items:

  • Used/old loofahs made from natural fibers
  • Shredded toilet paper rolls
  • Hair trimmings from electric razors
  • Hair from a hairbrush (GROSS but true!)
  • Cardboard tampon applicators
  • Cotton swabs made from 100% cotton & cardboard (DO NOT use plastic)
  • Worn cotton clothing & jeans (ripped/cut into pieces)
  • Potpourri made from natural ingredients
  • Used facial cleaning pad (cotton only)
  • Old cotton towels and sheets that can be shredded

transparent-glass-icon-business-light-onGardenalia Tip: For even more compostable item ideas (100 to be exact), check out this list!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog where we’ll be discussing Harvest planning decor! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+, Houzz, Instagram, and Pinterest for special announcements, events, and new gardening inspirations! Until next time, we’ll be here designing, building, and keeping Pittsburgh’s gardens THRIVING!