Although weather in Wisconsin may have put an end to the growing season, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re done with your garden.
Mindy Habecker, Dane County UW-Extension Natural Resources Outreach Specialist has been an instructor for the Master Composter program for a number of years. She suggests you think about what you can still harvest from your garden in the form of compost materials.
Habecker says that there’s actually some specific science you need to keep in mind if you want your composting efforts to pay off. First, make sure the compost pile itself is manageable! 3X3X3 is a good place to start. 3 feet high, wide and deep for that compost container or pile, otherwise she suggests working with windrows to get your best mix.
And what about that mix? Habecker says almost anything can be incorporated into the compost pile if you just remember to keep some simple science principles in place. The pile itself has to have active biology – meaning everything has to get along. Ample moisture is key to helping components break down and begin fermentation. Yard clippings can be layered in with food waste, as well as garden materials, to get the process moving.
Habecker does advise to be careful with food waste! If you don’t want four-legged visitors in your compost pile, keep out food waste like meat, dairy, and fats. They will not assist your compost breakdown.
Habecker will be presenting more instruction on putting together your best compost combination during a fall “Green Thumb Gardening” series on Monday, November 9th from 6-8 p.m. Register here.