At home composting explained

Published on: July 30, 2020

At home composting explained

Did you know that we, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Hillsborough County Extension, offer home composting workshops to our residents? Right now, we are providing this and other workshops (microirrigation and rainwater harvesting) via Zoom.

At home composting workshops attendees learn how to create their own compost, the differences between compost, humus and mulch, how to reuse lawn and landscape clippings and kitchen food waste, and what you should do with grass clippings. Also included is an evaluation of different compost units or bins, what can and should not be composted, the critters you will attract in the cooler stages of composting, and how to build your compost pile. Attendees receive information on cold, slow and passive composting and how to manage and monitor it from temperature, moisture and odor perspectives.

Instructions are provided on mixing and turning the compost, finishing and curing it, and screening it, if you are so inclined. To me, a very lazy gardener, screening compost is like sifting flour. I understand why it is done; I just choose not to do it! All the above and more will be fully explained, including how you can use the compost you created, whether finished or unfinished, and why the difference is important. After the workshop, attending households receive a compost bin, compost thermometer and kitchen compost pail/bucket with a lid.

You may want to attend all three of the workshops we offer monthly from February through November: composting, microirrigation and rainwater harvesting. If you have not attended a composting workshop with us in the past, you may want to consider registering for one now. Pre-registration is required. Check out our website, which contains the calendar of events at We hope to “see” you at our upcoming workshops via Zoom. Remember to reduce, reuse, recycle and repeat. Be well!

Lynn Barber is the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Agent for UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, 5339 C.R. 579, Seffner, FL 33584. Email her at, or call 813-744-5519 Ext. 54105.