• 70°

Darrell Blackwelder: Composting is a win-win process

Composting is an excellent way to eliminate spent leaves and help the environment. Composting also conserves moisture and improves the physical properties of the soil. Composting is the decomposition of many other organic materials including: leaves, kitchen scraps, grass clippings spent vegetable plants and other organic material.

Avoid composting pine needles. Pine needles break down very slowly as do citrus rinds, corn cobs and pecan shells. Avoid adding meat scraps and greasy foods as they attract unwanted animals such as skunks, mice and opossums.

Spent leaves and other organic material, along with soil and fertilizer are piled to form a large compost “sandwich.” A layer of leaves 10 inches or more is followed by an inch of soil and a sprinkling of fertilizer. Microbes (soil bacteria) within the soil accelerate the decomposition of leaves and other material.

Fertilizer supplies nitrogen which feeds the microbes. Shredding large leaves such as maple and oaks through a mower expedites the decomposition process.

Composting bins aren’t aesthetically pleasing, therefore it is best to locate compost piles or bins in low visibility areas, usually near the family vegetable garden. Turning compost piles occasionally should prevent unpleasant odors and hasten decomposition. Turning also exposes unwanted weed seeds, insects and pathogens to high temperatures.

The center of an actively decomposing pile should reach 150-160 degrees to complete the process.

Go to https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/backyard-composting-of-yard-garden-and-food-discards for more detailed information.

 

Darrell Blackwelder deblackw@ncsu.edu is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.

Comments

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

Crime

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19

Crime

Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods

Elections

NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes

News

Voters struggling with witness rules in early voting

News

Trump expected to announce conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Coronavirus

County reports COVID-19 percent positive rate of 8%

Local

Rowan County United Way sets $1.5 million goal at drive-in kickoff event

Crime

Blotter: Adult daughters accused of beating up mother

China Grove

China Grove firefighters injured after truck overturns

Business

Salisbury VA to reopen entry, exit gates

Crime

Sheriff’s Office looking for suspect in Burlington Coat Factory theft

Elections

Requests for absentee ballots top 9,000 in Rowan

Local

Spencer approves supplemental USDA loan for Park Plaza project