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The dirt on home composting

The dirt on home composting
Posted at 2:36 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 16:36:50-04

HELENA — Everyone has food scraps at home, but instead of throwing those in the trash think about putting them in a home compost pile.

“It's a free product you can make yourself," Greg Chadwick, owner of Chadwick Nursery in Helena told MTN News. "It helps eliminate the waste going to the dump and that’s a good green product that’s going into the dump. You can recycle all that and keep our landfills from filling up as quickly.”

If that’s not good enough of a reason for you, home composting can also be a great way to give your lawn or garden an extra boost, especially at this time of the year.

"Hard compact soil, compost helps loosen that. (Compost) helps hold moisture if you put it on top of the soil, it keeps the sun from beating down on that soil and drying it out,” added Chadwick.

Web Extra Home Composting

But if you want to be a compost connoisseur it isn’t quite as easy as throwing your leftovers outside. You’re going to want to stay away from grease, bones and meat. That can actually stop the composting process.

So stick to leafy vegetables, eggshells, stuff like that. Also keep things small, you’re going to want to be able to turn your pile with something like a shovel. Make sure it stays aired out… but not too dry. And like with everything we do here in Montana, don’t forget about bears.

“You want to limit the amount of food scraps, depending on your area," said Chadwick. "If you’re fenced in you can keep dogs and stuff out of there. If you’re out in the woods you have to be careful, there might be bears out there that you are attracting with that food.”

Greg also said that you’re going to want to stay away from adding grass clippings that have been sprayed with any kind of weed killer, but if you don’t spray your lawn those clippings can be a great nitrogen charger for the compost.