The Power of Rot

By Sam Nunes, Environmental Educator

April is the time when people start thinking about getting back to the garden. Although it may be early to think about planting, it’s not too early to think about composting. In fact, composting can be a year round activity!


Composting is not difficult and shouldn’t take much time. Some people get discouraged because they are afraid of the time commitment while others put in too much effort. The four of the most common uses for compost are:

  • mulch

  • soil

  • compost tea

  • lawn top dressing


Compost mulch helps to retain moisture as well as provide nutrients for your plants. If you have no need to retain moisture, you could mix the compost into your soil to work with the soil already present. You shouldn’t try to plant something in 100% compost - it is possible to over-fertilize your plants! Compost tea is not what you think it is: steep some compost dirt in water for a bit and then you have a nutrient rich water source for your plants! Lastly, sprinkling compost on top of your lawn will allow it to sink in between the blades of grass leading to a healthier looking lawn!


Maintaining a compost bin is not difficult but does require some attention. You can add green material such as fruits and vegetables, and brown material such as toilet paper rolls, and egg cartons. Even coffee grounds and filters can go in! If you find that your compost is too wet and smelly, add more dry brown material; if it is too dry and not breaking down, add more green material. If you’re afraid of attracting wildlife, you can get one that closes and seals shut. If you live in an apartment and you don’t have a yard, or if you simply don’t want to maintain a bin, you can have businesses like Curbside Compost pick up your compost waste for you!


Composting is a great example of the beautiful relationship between us and nature. Our unwanted scraps become the necessary fuel for life in the garden.



For more information, check out backyard boss' page on how to make a compost.

Read more Notes From A Naturalist...

Woodcock Nature Center

56 Deer Run Road, Wilton, CT 06897

P (203) 762-7280

F (203) 834-0062

Our mission is to connect people to the habitats, plants and animals of Southwestern CT through programs that build awareness, nurture understanding, and advance conservation. 

© Woodcock Nature Center 2019