Composting Dos, Don’ts and Whys

Compost is like health food for your garden. It enriches the soil with nutrients and increases water infiltration. Knowing a few basics can make it easy-peasy too!

Whether you buy it or make your own, compost is a simple, environmentally friendly way to improve the overall health of your landscape.

There are many ways to compost. You can get fancy with a compost bin that keeps everything neatly in one place. You could build a circular bin with wood and chicken wire. Or, you can compost the lazy way like me and just designate a discrete corner of your yard and start a pile (which is also a great place to throw yard clippings).

But if you do choose to make your own compost, there are some do’s and don’ts to be aware of.

Turning your compost pile, keeping it moist and layering it (notice the alternating green/brown categories in the do’s list above) all help move the compost process along. But if you’re not in a big hurry, you can just pile it up and leave it to simmer. Here in South Central Texas, the heat does a lot of the work for you.

Because I use the big-pile-in-the-corner method and utilize the City of San Antonio curbside recycling, I don’t toss paper in my compost pile. But you absolutely can!

Composting is the proverbial win-win — for your garden and the sewer pipes.

Follow Garden Style San Antonio’s board Healthy Soil/Composting on Pinterest.

Picture of Dana Nichols
Dana Nichols
As conservation manager at SAWS, Dana spent her days promoting beautiful San Antonio landscapes that need little to no water while benefiting Texas wildlife. While she’s no longer whipping up new landscape programs, she’s still cooking up delicious dinners made with fresh herbs from her low-water-use garden or planning the next trip with her husband, Rick -- preferably to some exotic place that requires a passport.
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