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Compost: Another way to go green

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It’s about that time of the year to dust off the rakes and begin cleaning up all the leaves that fall from our trees. As we drive around, we’ll see people burning and bagging tons of leaves and sticks from their yards. It wouldn’t take much effort at all to turn those leaves into nutrient-filled compost to use in our gardens and flower beds.

Compost can improve aeration of soil, root penetration and water infiltration. It can make clay soils easier to work and helps sandy soils retain more water. Plus it’s an environmentally sound practice in that it keeps the bags of leaves out of the landfill.

There are many different types of composters that can help you create this very valuable product. Of course there are composters that can be purchased from many home and garden centers. However, for the true do it yourself person there are those that you can create yourself. The simplest and most inexpensive thing you can do is just make a pile in your backyard. This works well enough if you don’t mind the appearance of an uncontained compost mound in your yard. Just find a good location and pile your yard waste in a mound about three feet by three feet by three feet. Then cover the pile with a layer of soil — it will keep moisture for the microorganisms and soil animals working to make compost.

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