Cool Fact: did you know that one mere teaspoon of healthy alive soil contains around a billion bacteria, several yards of fungal tubes, several thousand protozoa and a few dozen nematodes? This soil microbiome works in harmony with plants and trees and serves to keep them healthy. In droughts, trees send precious water down through and out of their roots, to keep their microbiome alive. Not so cool fact: weed killers decimate soil life and even non-organic fertilizers materially harm the soil microbiome.
One of the best ways to bring microbial life back to your soils, and to reduce waste, is to create your own compost. Compost, which is made from decomposed kitchen and yard waste, is teaming with beneficial microbes and life – much more so than even super healthy soil. Your own compost, which will be far better than store bought compost, is almost miraculous in how it benefits your plants, garden, lawns etc. Plus, by making compost, you will be taking a small step to help the planet by cutting down on garbage and trash.
Compost is easy to make. Just collect your kitchen food waste and yard and lawn clippings and toss them into a compost bin or pile and spray water on them periodically so they stay nice and wet. After 6 months or so you will have brown, coffee-colored, sweet smelling compost teaming with beneficial soil life! Spread it out on your yard or garden and you will be amazed at how much better and happier your plants grow!
To learn more about composting, and more advanced techniques, Sustainable Contra Costa is offering a composting workshop on May 26, 2018:
There are also a multitude of composting guides online, such as:
And if you live within Republic Services recyclesmart service areas or San Ramon, you can purchase a composting bin at a discount: