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Garden Compost

At Williams-Sonoma, we know that having the proper garden compost ensures your plants thrive and your harvest is hardy and delicious. With our compost guide, we make it easy to pick the best-possible medium for your preferred plants. Composting generally involves a mixture of brown, green and other materials. Brown material adds carbon, so it’s best to add more brown material than green to maintain proper aeration. Brown materials include leaves, dead plants, straw and hay while green materials consist of grass cuttings and vegetable scraps. Layer the materials and make sure to keep the compost moist and regularly aerate it to maintain proper conditions for plant growth.


When composting, the first thing to do is select a container or planter depending on your space and specific needs. Our composter options are available in plastic and wood varieties so you can match your existing decor or garden structures. Plastic containers are ideal for small spaces while a larger wood composter is ideal for big gardens. If you’ve selected a compost pail, keep the interior neat and clean with pail liners that also ensure easy transport of compost from indoor to outdoor use. Some of our composter options feature solar assistance to accelerate growth. these solar composters feature translucent bronze-toned corrugated poly panels on the roof to let sunlight filter in and help keep your compost at the ideal temperature.


Compost is an essential part of growing plants and trees and providing nutrients for a successful harvest. If your compost starts to smell rancid, you likely need to add more oxygen through aeration or the pile could be too wet. If the compost is too wet, add more brown materials to dry it out and restore the soil. The same solution is ideal for slimy or matted piles while compost that attracts rodents and flies is an indication of improper organic materials in the compost. Make sure to avoid using meat scraps and bones as these are the typical improper materials used compost.


Garden compost is essential to protecting and promoting the growth of seeds. Since compost adds nutrients to the soil while also ensuring required moisture and temperature conditions, you want to pay extra close attention when using it with fragile seeds. Many plants require specific pH levels in soil and compost is one way to achieve these levels. Composting is also beneficial for the environment as it returns organic matter to the earth, making it the ideal solution for eco-conscious homes.


When adding compost to your garden, you need to use garden tools. Trowels and shovels are great for transferring compost from plastic or wood bins to potted plants. A compost aerator discourages pests and helps organic matter to decompose faster. Simple to use and easy to store, these aerators do the heavy work for you. All you need to do is grasp the handle, twist the spiral end down into the pile and pull out for aeration in minutes. The durable stainless-steel shaft resists corrosion and rust and the pine handle is made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood so you know your purchase is friendly to worker’s rights and comes from sustainably farmed forests.


You can even use compost in raised beds and vertical planters. Vertical gardens are particularly suited to small apartments or outdoor spaces since they increase garden plots without taking up much floor space. Vertical gardens can be used to grow herbs right in the kitchen so you can grab basil, cilantro or green onions to add to your meals without setting foot outside. Keep your compost beneath the sink or on the windowsill and you can add it to kitchen plants on your vertical garden with ease. For raised gardens outside, it’s useful to place the composter nearby so you don’t have to walk long distances when adding organic material to your plants.

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