A man standing in front of a pile of composte.

Composting 101

For your soil there is no better ingredient than compost, whether you till it into the beds or use it as mulch. Ned Conwell (owner of Blue House Farm in Pescadero, California) is up to his elbows in the stuff, both as a farmer and as a teacher.

"Once it's in the soil, compost increases fertility; adds both micro- and macronutrients; buffers pH; and improves soil structure," Conwell says. Here is his foolproof method for making compost.

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