Composting 101

Man installing a leftblaster pro gutter cover

Learn about the different types of compost and how to start the process at your home.

Composting pile

By Michelle Gambon and Renae Lemon

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 21.3 million tons of yard trimmings and 2.1 million tons of food waste were composted in America in 2015. Composting is a free and easy way to turn fallen leaves, lawn clippings, tree and shrub trimmings, and household scraps into a rich soil additive for your lawn and garden. Compost is a nutrient-rich, fine-textured humus [a material in soil that is formed when plants and animals decay]. Healthy compost can be achieved by maintaining a general ratio of 4 to 1. That means 4 parts brown waste to 1 part green waste.

Brown waste consists of fallen leaves, finely chopped twigs and branches, cardboard, shredded paper, and newspaper.
Green waste consists of grass clippings, green plant parts, fruit peels, vegetable cores and stems, and tea/coffee grounds.

The compost pile is a microbial farm, teeming with bacteria, fungi, insects and earthworms. The microorganisms and insects feeding on the organic matter need air to help the process, so you need to turn your compost over regularly. Avoid adding meat scraps, bones or dairy products because they may attract unwanted animals.

You can begin by using an indoor or outdoor compost bin or by creating a compost pile in your yard. The location should be a well-drained site, in an out-of-the-way place, and in full sun. Your compost pile won’t smell bad if there is good ventilation, your greens to browns ratio is correct, and it isn’t too wet.

For more about composting, call the UGA Cobb Extension at: (770) 528-4070 or visit
for details on free, educational classes.

Man installing a leftblaster pro gutter coverGunk-Free Gutters

Keep your gutters free of the pesky foliage with these three tips from Charlie Dallavalle, owner of Painting Plus.

1. Regularly inspect downspouts. Ninety-percent of clogs occur because of bent or poorly angled downspouts. Caught early, a quick fix can ensure a dangerous blockage doesn’t happen.

2. Install new tech. LeafBlaster PRO micro mesh steel covers can be installed over existing gutters. Patented Z-Bend Technology allows water to flow through the gutters while blocking and elevating debris so it is easily blown away by the wind.

3. Clear out buildup. Despite proper care, gutters should be professionally cleaned at least once a year. The Painting Plus team can get the job done quickly and can leave you the debris collected to compost with.

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