Making and Using Compost

Good compost is a great asset for a food garden. Not only does compost add important nutrients to the soil it also improves soil structure and it has the ability to suppress disease. Apply compost once a year if you live in a moderate climate with a single growing season. The best practice is to add partially decomposed compost on empty beds in the fall, before the ground freezes, or completely decomposed matter in the spring. If you live in a warm climate, which offers year-round gardening, you need to add compost at least twice a year to accommodate two distinct growing seasons — one cool and one warm .

Leaf Litter

Plant Material

Chipped Wood

Kitchen Scraps


How to compost?

All organic materials can be composted and there are many ways and to do so. Below are the basics. But if you browse online for ‘composter,’ you’ll see that there are many varied ways to produce compost, from a fancy container, to a simple pile to a hole in the ground.

Find an out of the way area

Add organic materials

Keep moist

Mix and Aerate

Harvest and use

The Easiest Way

You can use leaves and small yard debris and layer your planned vegetable garden bed with them in the fall, at the end of the growing season. The organic materials will decompose over the cooler months and will be ready when it is time for planting in the spring. If the layer is still very deep when you start planting, simply move excessive leaves onto a compost pile and leave a thin layer as mulch.

Trouble Shooting