The productivity of any soil can be improved with a generous application of compost. Compost should be spread uniformly and then worked into the soil by spading or plowing.
Composting is good for the garden and the environment. It improves soil properties and helps to grow healthier plants. By adding compost to the soil, it saves water and decreases the amount of chemical fertilizer needed.
There are several methods of composting. The compost process requires three components: organic matter, water, and air. Organic matter for home composting comes from kitchen, yard and garden waste.
Some materials are richer in nitrogen (greens). Greens includes grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds.
Other materials are richer in carbon (browns). Browns include dead leaves, branches, twigs, shredded paper, and sawdust.
Roughly 3 part browns to 1 part green is the best ratio. The ideal size of the pieces should be about 1 inch. The pile should be turned to help improve air flow. When the compost is receiving the correct amount of water, it will feel like a wrung-out sponge. Too much moisture reduces airflow.
Do NOT compost dirt, ashes from a stove or fireplace, meat, bones, fish, grease or fat or oils, dairy products, manure, pet wastes, or diseased plants.
Compost is generated when the organic matter is consumed and decomposed by microorganisms. Compost can be used as mulch, top dressing, soil amendment, or as an organic fertilizer.