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Feed Your Plants with Kitchen Scraps and Yard Trimmings

Would you like to waste less, eat healthier food, and grow thriving plants in your home and landscape?  With just a few small steps and habit changes, you can do this!  Take advantage of these ideas for thinking outside the box. 

According to a new report, “Food Waste in America”, by Recycle Track Systems 

What can you do to reduce food waste in your own home?  The organization “Stop Food Waste” suggests putting this cycle into action: 

Plan 

  • Before shopping, take inventory of your home food supply 
  • Create a weekly menu plan using the food in your refrigerator and pantry. 
  • Take advantage of the “Save the Food” Guestimator and Meal Prep Mate
  • Base your shopping list based on needed items. 

Store 

Eat 

Compost 

  • Save vegetable and fruit trimmings, cores, peelings, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags and other compostable items. 
  • Start a compost bin in your backyard. 
  • Make backyard composting part of your food preparation routine. 
  • Place your grass clippings and leaves in your compost bin rather than curbside. Sure, yard trimmings collected curbside in The Woodlands are composted commercially, but why not save the good stuff for yourself? You’ll also reduce hauling and the green house gases that come with it.  

Create Compost in Your Own Backyard 

Let’s talk more about compost. Because, while we can all do better at reducing waste, there’s still going to be some great resources coming out of your kitchen. I’m looking at you carrot ends and egg shells. Don’t look a resource in the mouth, compost it! It’s easier than you think, and your plants will LOVE it. Backyard composting is the process of combining dry leaves, brown pine needles, green plant trimmings, and kitchen scraps to create a rich, slow-release fertilizer for your plants. 

Adding compost to soil is one of the best ways to improve soil quality and texture.  Here’s why. Compost contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium – primary nutrients  gardens and landscape plants need. It also includes traces of other essential elements like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. These nutrients are released slowly, as opposed to fast-release synthetic fertilizers, and far healthier for your plants. Compost improves drainage and helps the soil retain moisture – less irrigating for you. In short, you’ll have healthier plants with less work, water, and money. 

Creating compost requires a few weeks to a year depending on how often you turn (or mix up) your pile. The more often you turn it, the faster the rate of decomposition. This is because the microbes that are the workhorses of decomposition need air to live. The more often the pile is turned, the more air is delivered to the microbes and the harder they work. I usually turn my pile about every two weeks. But, again, it’s up to you how often you choose to do it. I have some friends who are proud lazy composters and never turn their pile. They still create compost; it just takes longer.  

How can you tell when your compost is finished?  The material at the bottom of your compost bin turns a rich, dark brown color and smells and looks like fresh earth. 

Now comes the most gratifying part – using your compost!   

Resolve now to reduce food waste, give our climate a hand, and help your landscape thrive in 2022. Learn more about backyard composting with our free, hands-on, backyard composting class on

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