Stanislaus County Library Composting Classes
Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. – Salida Library
Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. – Riverbank Library
Monday, September 12, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. – Ceres Library
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. – Oakdale Library
Monday, September 26, 2022 at 6:15 p.m. – Modesto Library
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. – Turlock Library
Stanislaus County Agricultural Center, Harvest Hall Composting Class
Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. rooms D&E
Turlock Community Gardens
We taught composting at this location in spring, so this month we are offering vermicomposting, the fun and easy way to compost kitchen scraps using red wiggler worms. Children are welcome!
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.
We are offering a Fall Vegetable Gardening Class at the Patterson Library, in case you missed this class last month at other locations. Class is Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Composting will be taught at the Patterson Library on October 12 at 2:00 p.m.
Never miss a class, bookmark our online calendar: https://ucanr.edu/sites/stancountymg/Calendar//h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>
- Author: Anne E Schellman
If you've ever felt confused by the process of composting, you are not alone! Most gardeners experience confusion at some point over the following topics:
What can I compost?
- Kitchen: fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, and eggshells.
- Yard waste: grass clippings (except Bermudagrass), leaves, pine needles, and shredded wood chips.
- Rotted manures from non-meat-eating animals are allowed, but not necessary.
What shouldn't I compost?
- Avoid animal products (meat, bones, fish, grease, dairy).
- Ashes from the fireplace or BBQ (can cause pH imbalance in soil).
- Sawdust from treated wood.
- Dirt: this ends up making it heavy and too hard to turn.
- Avoid diseased plants.
- Most weeds.
What are “greens” and “browns” and why does it matter?
Greens are rich with nitrogen, and browns contain carbon. Don't get bogged down by reading about the ratios of how much of each to use. Bottom line? You need to add equal amounts of greens and browns. The easiest way to do this is by using two 5-gallon buckets.
Vegetable & fruit scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and rotted manures.
Dry leaves, straw, sawdust, wood chips, corn stalks, cardboard, and paper.
Make sure all items added to the pile are chopped or shredded to at least 1 ½” in size. Otherwise they won't break down equally. The best size for a pile is 3x3 to 3x5.
For more information including what compost system to choose, which compost method to use, how often to turn your pile, pests, troubleshooting, and a general demystification of the composting process, watch our Composting Basics presentation! You can download the handout on our Classes and Workshops page. https://ucanr.edu/sites/stancountymg/Classes/
- Author: Terry Pellegrini
Composting is a fabulous way to turn your garden waste into garden gold. By taking your dry waste and combining it with your green waste, you can transform it into a rich, usable material to enhance your soil. You can also use it as a mulch around plant beds to reduce weeds and fill your containers and pots without the cost of store-bought soils.
Not only is composting good for your garden, but it is also good for the environment. By composting your garden (and some kitchen) wastes you are conserving precious landfill space, reducing the need for commercial soil conditioners and fertilizers, as well as adding beneficial microbes and nutrients back into the soil. Compost, either added to the soil or used as a mulch, saves on water usage as well.
Turn your compost every day or two (for rapid composting), or once per week. Check to make sure it isn't too wet or too dry (it should feel about as moist as a wrung out sponge) and protect it from the weather (a tarp or covering to keep out intense heat or rain) and in no time you'll have rich, usable compost.
Composting is a science but still, things can go wrong. The number one complaint I've heard from friends is, “My compost always turns out stinky and I give up.” Stinky compost is a sign of an imbalance in your pile. A healthy compost pile should smell earthy and not look wet and slimy. Trust me, stinky compost is a real turn-off. I should know – it's happened to me on occasion. Checking your moisture levels, adding in additional brown materials if needed, and making sure to turn your pile will help with this issue.
Don't let composting scare you. It can be a fun and rewarding way to give back to the environment, save money and water, and enhance your landscape. With a little bit of work, a pile of waste becomes the garden gold we all desire. Still have questions about composting?
Sign up for our Composting Basics class!
When: November 24, 2020 6-7:30 p.m. PST.
Where: on Zoom.
How: http://ucanr.edu/compost/2020 sign up by Nov 24 at 4 p.m. to receive a link sent the morning of the class.
Instructors: Master Gardeners Terry Pellegrini and Heidi Aufdermaur.
And remember, all classes are recorded so you can always watch it again later.
Hope to see you there!