Rot is Hot: Composting
"Take out the trash!" I can still hear my mom's voice call from the kitchen as I bounded out the front door. Taking out the trash has been a relatively thoughtless chore for as long as I can remember. We've been programmed to trash the clutter, throw away the scraps, and get rid of the excess (after all, no one wants to end up on the show Hoarders…). Nowadays, we recycle, we reuse, and we even turn old stuff into art (you've seen Pinterest). Composting is another way to reuse and recycle. Forget the false composting connotations and get hip to this green garden trend. It is a simple, inexpensive way to turn garden and kitchen waste into an extremely beneficial organic matter for your soil. Composting transforms grass clippings, leaves, old mulch, wood chips, and pruning materials into a rich, natural material best suited to adding structure, texture and fertility to my gardens. So, when you clean up your gardens this month don't trash your clippings, compost them!
To get started, check out your county's guidelines on what to bring to local composting facilities, and for tips on how to compost at home. For our Laytonsville shoppers, Montgomery County offers free composting bins to residents (a $20 value)! For our Frederick friends, Frederick County hosts free classes that teach the art and science of composting. And for our Manassas customers, Prince William County gives tips on how to successfully compost at home. Garden waste takes up an estimated 13% of our local landfills. So if it is not truly trash, don't throw it out! Put your garden waste to work and you'll reap the benefits of healthy, nutrient-rich soil that compost adds to your garden.