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Homeowners can benefit from turning landscaping and garden clippings into valuable compost.

Incorporate this soil improvement into garden soil to improve drainage in clay soils and increase water holding capacity in rapidly draining sandy soils. It also promotes healthy plant growth that is more resilient to insect and disease problems, and keeps vegetable kitchen waste and garden waste out of landfills.

Composting is as easy as putting disease-free and insect-free plant debris in a heap and letting it rot. Don’t add meat, dairy, or fat that will attract rodents or weeds that have turned into seeds, invasive plants, or perennial weeds that can survive the composting process and land back in the garden.

You can put the stack in a container to keep the process neat, tidy, and invisible. Some gardeners prefer drum composters to make loading, unloading, and turning the pile easier. With double container tumblers, you can store the raw materials in one container while you actively compost in the other.

Always check with your community first. Some have restrictions on what types of containers they can accept, while others may offer them at a discount.

Start your pile in an accessible location hidden by nearby plantings, fences, or decorative containers. Turn the stack over frequently, moving the more decomposed materials in the center outward and less decomposed materials in the center.