During the summer, we get to enjoy the great outdoors and eat fresh fruits and vegetables straight out of the garden. Unfortunately, many organic (natural) scraps that are good for the environment get thrown away in the trash can, only to produce more waste at a landfill. But you can reduce the amount of trash and use grass clippings and leftover apple slices to create a compost pile in your backyard to make nutrient-rich soil for plants.
There are three basic ingredients for composting: brown materials, such as dead leaves, branches and twigs; green materials, such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds and water.
To build your own compost pile:
1. Select a dry spot near a water source and dig up the grass in the area to loosen the dirt.
2. Add your brown and green materials in layers and add water between layers.
Once your compost pile is established, mix grass clippings and other green waste and stir the compost with a shovel or rake every few days.
When the material at the bottom is dark and rich in color, your compost is ready to use. This process usually takes a few months.
It’s fun to watch the pile of leaves and scrap turn into the perfect soil for plants. Be on the lookout for worms and small bugs that will join the compost party to help out.
For more tips on composting, visit www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/composting/index.htm.