Home Composting

When organic materials such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, and food scraps break down aerobically (with oxygen), they turn into compost. Farmers and gardeners often refer to compost as "black gold" because it is a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can help plant growth. Compost improves water retention and aeration in soil while also providing carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and beneficial bacteria to the soil microbiome.

Residents and businesses in Sonoma County can place food scraps as well as yard debris in their curbside green bin. However, because organics collected curbside are currently trucked to compost facilities far away, composting at home may be preferable as it helps decrease transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. Compost created at home can then be used in home gardens, which closes the loop and also saves money by reducing the need to buy from stores.

Help for the home gardener

Ask an expert! The Sonoma County Master Gardeners are available at (707) 565-2608 or mgsonoma@ucdavis.edu. Master Gardener volunteers are trained and certified by the University of California, Cooperative Extension. Workshops and seminars are given regularly at various libraries.

UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County