by Carl Salsedo, Ph.D.
Extension Educator, Horticulture
Compost is a valuable soil amendment that improves plant growth and soil quality. To compost your yard wastes, choose a convenient spot that is level, well drained, and has good exposure to the sun. You can use either a compost bin to hold the yard wastes in a confined area (normally 3 x 3 feet square), or just add the materials to an open pile. Add your yard wastes as they are generated. When you have a lot of one material (say leaves), it is best to alternate materials in layers six inches thick or so. In a few months you will be able to find finished compost at the bottom of the pile.
Use the finished compost when starting plants in the greenhouse, as an addition to the soil mix for potted plants, as an amendment to the soil when planting or transplanting plants, and as a fertilizer on the lawn.
Additional information about the basics of mulch is available from the UConn Home and Garden Education Cener website.