- City Compost Site is available for Defiance City Residents only. Proof of residency is required. It is located at State Route 281 East at the GM Waste Water Treatment Entrance.
- Nothing But Nature, 9780 Rd 171, Oakwood – 1 mile South of Charloe on River Road, (419) 594 – 2438 (Leaves & Grass – pickup truck $5.00, bag $1.00).
- Garden Scape, State Route 66 North, between Four County School and Archbold. (419) 445-6561.
Making Your Own Composting Pile
Starting a compost pile is as simple as following a recipe, and in fact, your kitchen is where a lot of your compost materials will come from. Below are a few composting basics you should know before starting your own pile, including what ingredients to use and what to avoid.
- It's the ultimate garden fertilizer and one of nature's best mulches and soil amendments.
- You can make it without spending any money.
- It's easy.
How to Get Started and What You'll Need
- Compost bin: The easiest way to compost is in containers (simple home-made or store bought). You'll use the bin to "store" garden waste in a contained and organized way while the materials break down.
- Pitch fork: The best hand tool for turning your compost pile.
- The right location: A well-chosen site can help speed up the composting process. Look for a level, well-drained area. Keep it accessible so you won't be inclined to neglect the pile.
Compost Recipe Ingredients
- The basic recipe for composting includes: greens, browns, water, air and time.
- Many organic materials are suitable for a compost pile. Ideally the pile should be made up of the proper ratio of carbon-rich materials--or "browns." Browns include dried leaves, straw, and wood chips. Even paper bags and drier lint are okay. And it needs nitrogen rich materials or "greens" such as grass clippings.
- Kitchen scraps are also considered a "green." Kitchen waste can include things like egg shells, orange rinds, vegetable trimmings and coffee grounds.
- Collect kitchen waste in a small container in the kitchen to bring to the pile every few days.
- The ideal ratio approaches 25 parts browns to 1 part greens.
Things to Avoid
Avoid using any meat, fat, grease, oils, dairy products, bones, dog droppings, lime or fireplace ashes in your compost.
Composting: The Easy Two-Week Method
- Keep ingredients small, no more than two inches in size.
- Don't layer materials. Mix ingredients either before or after shredding and chopping.
- Pile in heaps of no more than 5 feet.
- Turn the pile from the inside out on a daily basis for usable compost in two weeks. (Turn every other day for compost in three weeks.)
- When the pile has become somewhat smaller and the color of the material is dark brown, your compost is ready to use.
Other Composting Tips
- Keep the pile moist, but not soggy. If it's too wet, it will smell. If it is too dry, decomposition will be very slow.
- An ammonia odor may indicate that there's an imbalanced mix of ingredients. Add sawdust to control odor.
- Grass clippings break down quickly and contain as much nitrogen as manure.
- Avoid meat and fish scraps. These will attract rodents and cause a smelly compost pile.
Avoid using any parts of the black walnut tree as they contain a plant poison that survives composting. Eucalyptus leaves can also be toxic to other plants.