From the Rotline: How Long Until My Compost Is Ready To Use?

Rotline Question: How long will it take until my compost is ready to be used? Answer: The timeline for composting depends on a number of factors. There are three basic approaches to composting which can be mixed and matched based on resources available and the composter’s goals. They are passive composting, active composting, and hot…

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5 Ways to Heat Up Your Compost Pile – Even in Winter!

Want to get finished compost faster? You may want to try increasing the internal temperature of your backyard bin! Contrary to popular belief, compost piles do not heat up or drop in temperature due to atmospheric conditions (i.e. sun exposure, warm weather or cold weather) but rather, as a result of heat generation by specialized…

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How to improve aeration in your backyard compost bin

An ample supply of oxygen is key to the success of your backyard compost bin. Decomposer microbes need oxygen for their metabolic functions to operate efficiently. Without access to oxygen, some microbes die and others switch to a different form of metabolism, anaerobic (without air) respiration. This has a few negative consequences:  Instead of the…

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5 Creative Ways to Source Materials for your Compost Pile

Sometimes when we want to build a compost pile, we either have a disproportionate amount of greens or browns or, don’t have enough material. What to do? Here are a few ideas to help augment your composting materials: Waste diversion is more fun with friends! Post on a community bulletin board such as Nextdoor or a community…

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Community Series: Kickstart Your Summer with a Garden

Wondering how to make the most of your San Diego Summer? We’ve got the answer… a garden! Growing your own food or making the switch to locally sourced foods have both health and environmental benefits. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutritional value as soon as they are picked. In order to meet your…

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From the Rotline: What “browns” can I use in my compost?

Rotline Question: Can I make a traditional compost pile with paper as my only “browns” material? What else can I use? Answer: Making a traditional compost pile with paper as your only brown is doable, but not optimal.  In order for the materials of your compost to break down efficiently, a sufficient amount and balance of nitrogen…

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Passive or Active Composting: Which is right for you?

When asked what’s keeping folks from starting to compost at home, one of the most common responses is that they lack the time to do it. Time is a precious resource in our modern lives, and living an environmentally-friendly lifestyle often takes extra effort. However, we at Solana Center always try to emphasize that there…

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From the Rotline: Do red wigglers belong in my backyard compost bin?

Rotline Question:   Should I put red wiggler worms in my backyard compost bin? Answer:   This is a question that comes up often when folks visit our store to purchase composting worms, and we often have to urge folks not to add worms to their backyard bin. The reason lies in the fundamental differences between traditional…

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