Today through Saturday, May 9, is International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW). Traditionally, ICAW is promoted by group activities and events throughout the world but this year there are plans to celebrate with social media, Zoom, videos, etc. In the United States, the ICAW is managed by the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation. Their website has information on composting for home gardeners. The theme for 2020 is “Soil Loves Compost.”
Compost is important for improving or maintaining high quality soil, growing healthy plants, reducing the use of fertilizer and pesticides, improving the water quality, and protecting the environment. For many of us who are now growing Victory Gardens, setting up a compost pile or system is the next step in sustaining the garden. As you grow, harvest, and eat and as you weed, trim, and prune, you will want to put your yard waste and produce scraps in a compost pile. Later, when the material has decomposed, it will be added to the garden beds to feed the microorganisms and improve the soil structure.
To learn more about composting, see the Foundation’s website and the extension sources below. Composting information and services are very local, down to the county level. To see what your county is doing to help or to educate, look for terms such as “Environmental Protection,” “Environmental Services,” “Public Works,” or “Recycling” on your county website. Also check your local master gardeners group or website. Sometimes they have presentations or workshops or they might have a speaker who can present to a garden club about composting.
For each day of International Compost Awareness Week, I will post useful information on my website or Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram channels. If you already compost, please post useful information using the hashtag #soillovescompost or #icaw2020.