Home & Garden

Enjoy an Attractive and Convenient Composting Station

Credits: Melinda Myers, LLC

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Make recycling green debris into compost convenient and attractive. Create a space you and your neighbors will appreciate. And locate composting in a convenient area that is easy to access and manage, so you are more likely to do it.

You’ll quickly recoup your initial investment of time and money.  Spend less time hauling the materials to the recycling center and money spent on soil amendments.

Most importantly, you’ll boost the health and beauty of your landscape while helping the environment. 

Sign Up for E-News

Start by looking for spaces in the landscape or garden where compostable materials can easily be moved into the bin, pile turned, and the finished compost harvested and transported into the garden where it is needed. You found a place to stow the trash cans without ruining the beauty of your landscape or offending your neighbors, so do the same with your compost area.

Purchase or build a compost bin that matches your landscape style.  Some bins are built to be an attractive addition to the landscape while others are designed to fade into the garden and go unnoticed. Try using materials similar to your fence, shed or other structures. Situate the bin, so it appears to be an extension of these or an additional garden feature.

Speed up the composting process by creating a pile at least three feet tall and wide.  Use only insect- and disease-free materials. Do not include meat, fat, bones, or dairy products that can attract rodents or weeds and invasive plants that can survive most composting and end up back in your garden.

Mix nitrogen rich green materials such as vegetable scraps, and herbicide-free grass clippings and carbon rich browns such as cornstalks, evergreen needles and tree leaves.  Top this 8 to 10” layer with compost and sprinkle three cups of a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, like Milorganite (milorganite.com), over this layer.  The organic nitrogen helps feed the microorganisms that break down the raw materials into compost. Continue layering with plant debris, compost and fertilizer until the pile is at least three feet high.

Use plants to screen the compost process. Place a simple wire bin in the middle of the garden.  It’s convenient; since this is the place you generate garden debris and use much of the finished product. The surrounding plantings will hide the bin.

Or place your bin behind a garden border of tall grasses, shrubs or other permanent plantings. Make sure your neighbors’ view is equally as nice.  Leave sufficient room for adding materials to compost, turning the pile if needed and harvesting the compost.

Team up with your neighbors to create more gardening and composting space.  Design a shared garden and compost area across the lot line.  Use steppers for easy access and beautify both yards with attractive plantings. You’ll each enjoy the extra garden space and valuable compost you create.

Up the ornamental appeal a bit more by installing a decorative fence as a backdrop for one of your garden beds. Design the screen to run parallel to a fence or hedge along the lot line.  Leave enough space between the two structures for composting, storing mulch, shredded leaves, garden stakes and more.  Include a gate or entryway along the side for easy access.

Once you start exploring options, your creativity will help you build a composting space suited to your needs. Then get ready to enjoy the increased beauty and productivity that the compost will provide in your gardens and containers.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and spokesperson for Milorganite. Myers’ website is www.melindamyers.com.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


East Brunswick: I Don't Wanna Close Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

March 16, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick used to be the home of Meyer's toy store, an almost idyllic wonderland of all sorts of Barbies, parts for swimming pools, and clanging model trains until it closed in 2002.  Kay-Bee toy store was a popular stop at the Brunswick Square Mall until 2009, with a salesperson often displaying the newest gadget outside its door, causing eager kids ...


Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

Celebrate National Ag Day at the Middlesex County EARTH Center

March 13, 2018

EARTH CENTER, NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Consider this: just about everything we eat, wear and use comes from agriculture. That is why America’s farmers and their crops are celebrated each year on National Ag Day, which falls this year on March 20.

To honor this day, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County has planned a new seminar entitled The State of Agriculture and ...

Darby Road to Host Fifth Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Darby Road Public House (450 Park Ave., Scotch Plains) has announced the dates and times of its hugely popular St. Patrick’s Day Festival, which will be set up in the municipal parking lot.

The festival features Irish bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, great Irish fare and enough Guinness to go around! The event also will have a bounce house, ...

Piscataway Libraries Host Annual NJ Makers Day Program

PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Piscataway Public Libraries were once again hosts to dozens of “makers” for the 4th Annual NJ Makers Day celebration.

The Saturday events at the Kennedy and Westergard Libraries featured activities and demonstrations by members of the maker culture with a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) initiatives.

Among other ...

NCAA Tournament: Heilmann and DelVecchio Both Secure All-American Honors; Suriano Becomes Rutgers' First-Ever Finalist

CLEVELAND, OH -The senior class of South Plainfield High School’s “Murderer’s Row”, the 2013 team that earned a group title, two individual state titles, and produced five state placewinners, knows a thing or two about making wrestling history. The 2018 NCAA wrestling tournament marks the last time two standouts from 2013 team, Troy Heilmann and Scott DelVecchio, will ...

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, March 21, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Academy's 4th Annual Spring Splendor ...

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM


The Basics of Starting a Business

Business & Finance

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 25, 8:00 AM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

Palm Sunday

Religions And Spirituality

New Jersey Hoops Player Isaiah Rogers Part of College Basketball History

March 17, 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - You all saw what happened. You all witnessed history.

But did you know a former Jonathan Dayton basketball player, who helped lead the Bulldogs to an NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 state title in 2012-13, is on the University of Maryland-Baltimore County men’s basketball roster?

Junior guard Isaiah Rogers, who served as UMBC’s team’s manager in ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...