Composting 101

What is Composting?
Composting is the process of decomposition of grass clippings, leaves, and other organic matter that occurs continuously in nature and results in an organic nutrient rich, soil like material. As tress drop leaves, grasses, plants and trees die, they decompose over time and return their nutrients to the soil as compost.

Benefits
Composting reduces yard waste entering landfills. Each year hundreds of millions of tons of grass clippings, leaves, weeds, organic debris, and other yard waste enters landfills. This makes up about 20% of the total volume of all material entering landfills. The cost to collect and dispose of this waste is nearly 1 billion dollars a year.

Composting saves you money by reducing the need for store bought fertilizer. Compost is free. Adding compost to soil helps reduce your watering needs by helping the soil retain water.

Components
I. Green Material (Nitrogen)
Grass clippings
Fruit & vegetable scraps and trimmings
Coffee grounds
Used tea bags
Cow, horse, or poultry manure

II. Brown Material (Carbon)
Dry brown leaves
Shredded newspaper
Wood chips
Sawdust

III. Water
Compost forms best when it is kept at a constant moisture level, similar to a damp sponge, not soaking wet.

IV. Air
Air allows aerobic composting to occur rapidly, and with little or no foul odors. About 30% of the total initial volume of your compost pile should be air space.

Mix it Up
A 50:50 ratio of green to brown material by volume will provide the best results. By mixing, or turning, your compost pile regularly, the proper blend of the four components of compost will be maintained. To speed up the composting process, mix your compost pile more often. Mixing your compost allows air to enter into the pile. If the pile has become too dry, add more water and mix it in.

Compost No-No’s
Be sure to NEVER place anything containing fats or oils in your compost. (ex. meat scraps, baked goods). Do not place dog or cat waste in your compost pile. Do not place diseased plants or weeds in your compost pile.

Hot Stuff
Microorganisms that contribute to the composting process will generate a substantial amount of heat in a compost pile that has the proper mix of ingredients and that is large enough, at least 1 cubic yard. The optimum internal temperature is right around 150°F. These temperatures are critical for the destruction of pathogens and weed seeds.

Getting Started
Patty Hoenigman, author and Texas Master Composter, describes six ways to compost, ranging from easy but slow to produce, to more involved but producing compost more quickly.

1. Use a mulching lawn mower.

2. Dig a hole and bury kitchen scraps

3. Make a trough, bury kitchen scraps and cover them up as you go.

4. Passive Composting – this can be used to produce a small amount of compost that will be done in 4-6 months. Add leaves to a bin, add food scraps, and cover with more leaves. Add water and mix once a week.

5. Heap or Pile – make a compost pile, away from the house. Add brown and green material as they become available and just let the pile sit. It will take about a year before usable compost will be available at the bottom of the pile.

A Three-bin Compost Bin
A Three-bin Compost Bin

6. Active Composting – This method requires a minimum of 1 cubic yard of material to start with ideally in a 3’x3’x3’ bin. Soak leaves overnight and then alternate 2” deep layers of brown and green material in the bin. Let it sit for 3 days to allow the internal temperature to peek. Next, turn the pile completely, being sure to add water to any dry areas, every day for 11 days. Let the pile sit undisturbed for two more weeks to cure. You will then have a complete batch of compost ready to use in just four weeks. The final volume of compost will be about 1/3 of the starting volume of the pile.

Summary
Start composting today! It doesn’t matter if it’s 105°F outside or 35°F. You can build a compost bin out of wood, cinder blocks, or chicken wire, or just make a pile or small hole. Once you see the rich results of composting on your garden, you’ll be glad you did.

U.S. Climate Report: February 2016

The strong El Niño that was present in the Equatorial Pacific interacted with other climate patterns to influence U.S. weather conditions during winter and February.

The December–February average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 36.8°F, 4.6°F above the 20th century average, surpassing the previous record of 36.5°F set in 1999/2000. The exceptionally warm December boosted the contiguous U.S. winter temperature. The February temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 39.5°F, 5.7°F above the 20th century average, ranking as the seventh warmest on record and warmest since 2000.

The winter precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 8.05 inches, 1.26 inches above the 20th century average. This was the 12th wettest December–February on record for the Lower 48 and the wettest since 1997/1998. The February precipitation total was 1.93 inches, 0.20 inch below average, and ranked near the median value in the 122-year period of record.

This monthly summary from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, business, academia, and the public to support informed decision making.

The maps below show how the average temperature, and precipitation values for the month of February 2016 deviate from the 30-year normals (1981-2010).

    – Click on Map to Zoom In –

PRISM_ppt_provisional_4kmM3_anomaly_201602 (1)

PRISM_tmean_provisional_4kmM2_anomaly_201602

Seed Source Guide

If you haven’t already started making plans for your spring garden, now is the time to do so. Of course the best laid garden plans are all for naught if you don’t have, or can’t find, the proper seeds to plant at the proper time. We’ve all experienced that feeling of utter disappointment after scouring the local garden centers for seeds of that special vegetable variety you enjoyed so much last season. Only to come home empty handed, or worse yet, with 20 packs of some crazy genetically modified watermelon-broccoli hybrid because those were the only seeds left in the store. Don’t let that happen to you this spring. Order your seeds now so you can plant exactly what you want.

Our Complete Seed Source Guide table below has been updated for 2015 and has an alphabetical listing of many sources of Seeds, Transplants, and Bulbs for Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Grains, Grasses, Ground Covers, Vines, Fruits, Sprouting, Trees, Wildflowers, and much more. Many are Open-pollinated, Non-GMO, Organic, and Heirloom varieties. Most offer a Free Catalog.

So whether it’s still snowing outside, or it’s time to start planting tomorrow, dig in and order your seeds now.

NAMEWEBSITECONTACTNOTES
AMERICAN MEADOWSwww.americanmeadows.com

Photo © Annie's Annuals and Perennials
Photo © Annie's Annuals and Perennials
223 Avenue D, Ste 30
Williston, VT 05495
(877)309-7333
Seeds
Plants
Wildflowers
Native Grasses
Flowers
Vegetables
ANNIE'S ANNUALS & PERENNIALSwww.anniesannuals.com

Photo © Annie's Annuals and Perennials
Photo © Annie's Annuals and Perennials
740 Market Ave.
Richmond, CA 94801
(888)266-4370
Seeds
Bulbs
Flowers
Foliage
Grass
Herbs
Poppies
Sedges
Shrubs
South African Bulbs
Succulents
Sunflowers
Trees
Vegetables
Vines
Water Plants
Free Catalog
BAKER CREEK HEIRLOOM SEEDSwww.rareseeds.com

Photo © Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co
Photo © Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co
2278 Baker Creek Rd
Mansfield, MO 65704
(417)924-8917
Open-pollinated
Non-GMO
Heirloom
Seeds
Vegetables
Flowers
Wild Flowers
Herbs
Free Catalog
BBB SEEDwww.bbbseed.com

Image © BBB Seed
Image © BBB Seed
6595 Odell Place,
Unit G
Boulder, CO 80301
(303)530-1222
Open-pollinated
Non-GMO
Heirloom
Seeds
Vegetables
Flowers
Wild Flowers
Native Grasses
Cover Crops
Free Catalog
BLUESTONE PERENNIALSwww.bluestoneperennials.com

Photo © Bluestone Perennials
Photo © Bluestone Perennials
7211 Middle Ridge Rd
Madison, OH 44057
(800)852-5243
Plants
Perennial Flowers
Ferns
Vines
Grasses
Ground Covers
Free Catalog
BOTANICAL INTERESTSwww.botanicalinterests.com

Photo © Botanical Interests
660 Compton Street
Broomfield, CO 80020
(877)821-4340
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Organic
BOUNTIFUL GARDENSwww.bountifulgardens.org

Photo © Bountiful Gardens
Photo © Bountiful Gardens
1712-D South Main St
Willits, CA 95490
(707)459-6410
Open-pollinated
Non-GMO
Heirloom
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Grains
Green Manures
Compost
Carbon Crops
BRENT AND BECKYS BULBSwww.brentandbeckysbulbs.com

Photo © Brent and Becky's Bulbs
7900 Daffodil Lane
Gloucester, VA 23061
(877)661-2852
Flower Bulbs
Free Catalog
BURNT RIDGE NURSERY & ORCHARDSwww.burntridgenursery.com

Photo © Burnt Ridge Nursery
432 Burnt Ridge Rd
Onalaska, WA 98570
(360)985-2873
Fruiting Plants
Nut Trees
Ornamental Trees
Northwest US Natives
Free Catalog
BURPEEwww.burpee.com

Photo © W. Atlee Burpee & Co.
Photo © W. Atlee Burpee & Co.
300 Park Avenue
Warminster, PA 18974
(800)888-1447
Seeds
Plants
Vegetables
Flowers
Perennials
Herbs
Heirlooms
Fruit Plants
Free Catalog
THE COOK’S GARDENwww.cooksgarden.com

Photo ©The Cook's Garden
Photo ©The Cook's Garden
P. O. Box C5030
Warminster, PA 18974
(800)457-9703
Seeds
Plants
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Fruits
Free Catalog
DIXONDALE FARMSwww.dixondalefarms.com

Photo © Dixondale Farms
PO Box 129
Department WP12
Carrizo Springs, TX 78834
(877)367-1015
Plants
Onions
Leeks
Free Catalog
DOLLAR SEEDdollarseed.com

DollarSeed_2015
WebsiteNon-GMO
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Organic Sprouting
Flowers
Seeds for $1.00
Free Catalog
DUTCH GARDENSwww.dutchgardens.com

Photo ©  ComeToBuy Inc.
Photo © ComeToBuy Inc.
4 Currency Drive
P.O. Box 2999
Bloomington, IL 61702
(800)944-2250
Bulbs
Flowers
Plants
Roses
Shrubs
Vines
Fruit
Berries
Free Catalog
FEDCO SEEDSwww.fedcoseeds.com

Photo © Fedco Seeds
Photo © Fedco Seeds
PO Box 520
Waterville, ME 04903
(207)426-9900
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
GARDENS ALIVE!www.gardensalive.com

Photo © Gardens Alive!
Photo © Gardens Alive!
5100 Schenley Place
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
(513)354-1482
Environmentally Responsible
Lawn Care
Soil Care
Plant Care
Insect Pest Control
Animal Pest Control
Disease Control
Weed Control
Free Catalog
GARDENER'S SUPPLY COMPANYwww.gardeners.com

Photo © America's Gardening Resource
128 Intervale Road
Burlington, VT 05401
(800)876-5520
Gardening Supplies
Free Catalog
GURNEYS SEED & NURSERY CO.www.gurneys.com

Photo  © Scarlet Tanager LLC
Photo © Scarlet Tanager LLC
P.O. Box 4178
Greendale, IN 47025
(513)354-1492
Seeds
Vegetables
Flowers
Grass
Sprouting
Bulbs
Plants
Ground Covers
Vines
Shrubs
Hedges
Ornamental Grasses
Trees
Free Catalog
HARRIS SEEDSwww.harrisseeds.com

Photo © Harris Seeds
Photo © Harris Seeds
355 Paul Rd.
P.O. Box 24966
Rochester, NY 14624
(800)544-7938
Seeds
Plants
Vegetables
Flowers
Fruits
Gardening Supplies
Free Catalog
HEIRLOOM SEEDSwww.heirloomseeds.com

Photo © Heirloom Seeds
Photo © Heirloom Seeds
278 E. Finley Dr
West Finley, PA 15377
(724)663-5356
Open-pollinated
Non-GMO
Heirloom
Seeds
Vegetables
Flowers
Herbs
Seed Starting Supplies
On-line Orders Only
HENRY FIELD'S SEED & NURSERY CO.www.henryfields.com

Photo  © Scarlet Tanager LLC
Photo © Scarlet Tanager LLC
P.O. Box 397
Aurora, IN 47001
(513)354-1494
Seeds
Vegetables
Flowers
Grass
Sprouting
Bulbs
Plants
Ground Covers
Vines
Shrubs
Hedges
Ornamental Grasses
Trees
Free Catalog
HIGH COUNTRY GARDENSwww.highcountrygardens.com

Photo © highcountrygardens.com
Photo © highcountrygardens.com
PO Box 22398
Santa Fe, NM 87502
(800)925-9387
Flowers
Herbs
Roses
Shrubs
Trees
Bulbs
Lawns
Wild Flowers
Xeric
Free Catalog
JACKSON & PERKINSwww.jacksonandperkins.com

Photo © J&P Park Acquisitions, Inc.
Photo © J&P Park Acquisitions, Inc.
2 Floral Avenue
Hodges, SC 29653
(800)292-4769
Roses
Plants
Vegetables
Trees
Ground Cover
Garden Essentials
Birding
Free Catalog
JOHNNY’S SELECTED SEEDSwww.johnnyseeds.com

Photo © Johnny's Selected Seeds
Photo © Johnny's Selected Seeds
PO Box 299
Waterville, ME 04903
(877)564-6697
Seeds
Vegetables
Fruits
Flowers
Herbs
Cover Crops
Tools and Supplies
Free Catalog
KITAZAWA SEED CO.www.kitazawaseed.com

201 4th Street
#206
Oakland, CA 94607
(510)595-1188
Seeds
Asian Vegetables
Free Catalog
LOGEE'Swww.logees.com

Photo © Logee's Plants for Home and Garden
Photo © Logee's Plants for Home and Garden
141 North St.
Danielson, CT 06239
(888)330-8038
Fruiting
Rare
Tropical
Plants
Orchids
Free Catalog
NATIVE AMERICAN SEEDwww.seedsource.com

Photo © Native American Seed
Photo © Native American Seed
Junction, TX 76849
(800)728-4043
Native Seeds
Wildflowers
Grasses
Free Catalog
NICHOLS GARDEN NURSERYwww.nicholsgardennursery.com

Photo © Nichols Garden Nursery
Photo © Nichols Garden Nursery
1190 Old Salem Rd
NE
Albany, OR 97321
(800)422-3985
Seeds
Plants
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Lawn Mixes
Cover Crops
Roots-Bulbs-Garlic
Beer & Wine Making
Cheese Making
Free Catalog
PARK SEED CO.www.parkseed.com

Photo © J&P Park Acquisitions, Inc
Photo © J&P Park Acquisitions, Inc
3507 Cokesbury Rd
Hodges, SC 29653
(800)845-3369
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Herb Plants
Fruit Plants
Onion Sets
Free Catalog
THE PEPPER GALwww.peppergal.com

P.O. Box 23006
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33307
(954)537-5540
Pepper Seeds
PINETREE GARDEN SEEDSwww.superseeds.com

Photo © Pinetree Garden Seeds
Photo © Pinetree Garden Seeds
P.O. Box 300
New Gloucester, ME 04260
(207)926-3400
Seeds
Vegetables
Bulbs
Herbs
Flowers
Spices
Teas
Sprouting
Tobacco
Mushroom Kits
Free Catalog
RONNIGER POTATO FARMwww.potatogarden.com

Photo © Potato Garden
Photo © Potato Garden
12101 2135 Rd
Austin, CO 81410
(877)313-7783
Non-GMO
Seed Potatoes
Garlic Bulbs
Free Catalog
THE SAMPLE SEED SHOPwww.sampleseeds.com

SampleSeed_2015
978 Riverview Blvd.
Tonawanda, NY 14150
(716)871-1137
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Tomato
SEEDS OF CHANGEwww.seedsofchange.com

Photo © Seeds of Change
Photo © Seeds of Change
P.O. Box 4908
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220
(888)762-7333
Certified Organic
Seeds
Vegetables
Salads & Greens
Herbs
Flowers
Cover Crops
AppleTrees
Asparagus Crowns
Rhubarb Crowns
Free Catalog
SEED SAVERS EXCHANGEwww.seedsavers.org

Photo © Seed Savers Exchange
Photo © Seed Savers Exchange
3094 North Winn Rd
Decorah, IA 52101
(563)382-5990
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Tomato & Pepper Plants
Seed Pototoes
Free Catalog
THE SOUTHERN BULB CO.www.southernbulbs.com

Photo © The Southern Bulb Company
Photo © The Southern Bulb Company
P.O. Box 350
Golden, TX 75444
Bulbs
Flowers
Heirloom
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE SEED EXCHANGEwww.southernexposure.com

Photo © Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Photo © Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
P.O. Box 460
Mineral, VA 23117
(540)894-9480
Certified Organic
Heirloom
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Cotton
Seed Pototoes
Sweet Potatos
Garlic & Onion
Grains
Cover Crops
Free Catalog
STOKES SEEDSwww.stokeseeds.com

Photo © Stokes Seeds
P.O. Box 548
Buffalo, NY 14240-0548
(800) 396-9238
Seeds
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Free Catalog
SUSTAINABLE SEED CO.www.sustainableseedco.com

Photo © Sustainable Seed Co.
P.O. Box 636
Petaluma, California 94952
877-620-7333
Seeds
Non-GMO
Heirloom
Organic
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Tobacco
Cover Crops
TERRITORIAL SEEDSwww.territorialseed.com

Photo © Territorial Seed Company
P.O. Box 158
Cottage Grove, OR 97424
(800) 626-0866
Seeds & Plants
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Sprouting
Seed Potatoes
Garlic and Shallot Bulbs
Onion Sets
Cover Crops
Mushrooms
Fruit & Berry
Citrus
Free Catalog

TERROIR SEEDSwww.underwoodgardens.com

Photo © Terroir Seeds
P.O. Box 4995
Chino Valley, AZ 86323-7208
(888) 878-5247
Seeds
Heirloom
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
TY TY NURSERYwww.tytyga.com

Photo © www.tytyga.com
P.O. Box 130
Ty Ty, GA 31795-0130
(888) 811-9132
Plants
Berries
Bamboo
Shrubs
Vines
Trees
Fruit
Nut
Palm
Shade
Bulbs
Flowers
TOMATO GROWERS SUPPLY CO.www.tomatogrowers.com

Photo © Tomato Growers Supply Company
P.O. Box 60015
Fort Myers, FL 33906
(888) 478-7333
Plants
Tomatoes
Pepper
Eggplant
Free Catalog
URBAN FARMERwww.ufseeds.com

Photo © Urban Farmer.
5427 N Delaware Street
Indianapolis, IN. 46220
(317) 899-9801
Seeds
Non-GMO
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Plants
Vegetables
Free Catalog
VESEYS SEEDSwww.veseys.com

Photo © Veseys Seeds
PO Box 9000
Calais, Maine 04619-6102
(800) 363-7333
Seeds
Organic
Vegetables
Herbs
Flowers
Free Catalog
WILDFLOWER FARMwww.wildflowerfarm.com

10195 Hwy 12 West
R.R. #2, Coldwater, Ontario
Canada L0K 1E0
( 866) 476-9453
Seeds
Wildflowers
Native Grasses
WILDSEED FARMSwww.wildseedfarms.com

Photo © Wildseed Farms
100 Legacy Drive
P.O. BOX 3000
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
(800) 848-0078
Seeds
WIldflowers
Native Grasses
Herbs
Free Catalog
WILLHITE SEED CO.www.willhiteseed.com

Photo © Willhite Seed Co.
P.O. Box 23
Poolville, TX 76487
(800) 828-1840
Seeds
Vegetables
Free Catalog
WOMACK NURSERY CO.www.womacknursery.com


2551 State Hwy 6
De Leon, TX 76444-6333
(254) 893-6497
Trees
Fruit
Nut
Plants
Berries
Grapes
Roses

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