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National Composting Day. Images of various composting courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Mint Your Own Garden Gold

Nifa Authors
Margaret Lawrence, Writer-Editor

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Compost. Composting is the act of collecting and storing plant material so it can decay and be added to soil to improve its quality.

Composting offers an important way people can reduce their household waste. Did you know, people can divert as much as 30% of their household waste away from garbage cans and landfills by composting? It provides a practical and convenient way to handle both food and yard waste. Gardeners know that compost provides immense benefits to landscapes and gardens.

 Compost Benefits

  • Improves rainfall penetration into soil, reducing runoff and soil erosion
  • Enhances beneficial microbes in soil, helping to reduce plant diseases and pests
  • Provides important nutrients to plants
  • Reduces greenhouse gases
  • Lowers demands on landfills

Grass clippings, leaves, yard trimmings, vegetable and fruit peels, coffee grounds and tea leaves, as well as newspaper and other paper products, can be composted at home in compost bins and piles, or even worm bins.

Ready to Try Composting?

If you are ready to begin composting or are searching for ways to up your composting game, look for resources from Cooperative Extension in your state. With support from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and based at the nation’s Land-grant Institutions, Cooperative Extension offers a wealth of resources to help you turn waste into garden gold.

While the overall process is much the same wherever you live, weather and climate may mean the process may take different lengths of time. Learn more about composting across the country.

North Central




Farm Bill Priority Areas
Plant health, production, and products
U.S. States and Territories
New Jersey
North Carolina

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