Composting & Natural Lawns


You can reduce the amount of waste that goes in a landfill by 30% by composting yard waste and food scraps.

Composting is the biological decomposition of organic matter such as leaves, food scraps and twigs. The end result is a dark, crumbly matter that can enrich your lawn or garden. When mixed with soil, compost improves the physical properties of the soil, reduces erosion and supports plant life.

Always cover your compost pile with leaves. Add red wiggler worms to speed up the process.

Compost Troubleshooting

ProblemWhat's HappeningHow To Fix It
Smells like garbageToo wet, wrong food items included or not covered with brownsMix in dry leaves or sawdust
Pile is dryNot enough water or too much woody materialMix and moisten; chop materials into smaller pieces
Pile is damp, but not compostingLack of greensMix in greens or remove excess woody material
Pile is smaller, but doesn't look like compostOutside of the pile is dry, but inside is most likely compostedUse non-decomposed material in a new pile


Here are some ways you can keep your lawn healthy and productive:

  • Free Fertilizer: Leaving your grass clippings on your lawn after mowing will help your yard become healthier and saves you the time of raking them up. When grass clippings decompose on the lawn, organic matter is added to the soil.
  • Aerate your lawn if water won't permeate.
  • Over watering can promote lawn diseases and can leach nutrients from the soil.
  • Water about 1 inch per week during warm seasons. Watering slowly, but deeply moisturizes the root zone. Using compost and mulch helps retain the moisture.
  • Don't water during the heat of the day.
  • Remove weeds by hand - think twice about using herbicides and pesticides.
  • For every 8 cubic feet of clay soil, use a 1 inch layer of compost to improve the soil. Mend the entire area, not just small portions.
  • Use cardboard or newspapers under mulch so it can decompose and feed the soil.
  • Most lawns only need 1 inch of water per week to stay green during the summer.
  • Toads, lady bugs, praying mantises and other insect-eating creatures can aid in controlling unwanted pests. For instance, centipedes feed on slugs and other insect pests.


Xeriscaping is the practice of designing your lawn and garden to adhere to the natural landscape of the region, and to conserve natural resources.

  • Group plants according to their water needs
  • Leave a buffer of vegetation along water bodies to filter pollutants
  • Plant shrubs on areas with high water runoff-prevent erosion
  • Use compost to prevent erosion and add nutrients to the area
  • Using drip and soaker hoses - Apply water directly to the soil which minimizes evaporation and runoff