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Composting for the Home Gardener

PopCity's June 2007 survey "How Green Are You" indicated that only 27.8% of the Pittsburgh population always or often composted. Here are some sources to get the rest of us started.

 

Selected Books

Appelhof, Mary
Worms Eat My Garbage
SF597.E3 A67 1997x
If you live in an apartment and don't have a backyard for a compost bin, vermiculture is a good option. They can live in a 2X3X1 foot box in your kitchen or in a closet.
 
 
Campbell, Stu
Let It Rot!: The Gardener's Guide to Composting
S661.C35 1998
This popular book on composting has gone through 3 editions. Simply written and entertaining.
 
Cullen, Mark and Lorraine Johnson
The Urban/Suburban Composter: The Complete Guide to Backyard, Balcony, and Apartment Composting
S661 .C84 1994
Cullen and Johnson are two Canadians that are involved in community composting projects. In this classic book they offer a wide range of composting options for the gardener, including worm composting.
 
Davies, Stephanie
Composting Inside and Out: To Fit Your Space & Lifestyle
S661.D38 2011
Information on composting indoors and outdoors, with worms and without, by the Urban Worm Girl.
 
Easy Compost: The Secret to Great Soil and Spectacular Plants
S661.E27 1997x
This Brooklyn Botanic Garden booklet is illustrated with many photos and tells you what you need to know to get started. A chapter on worm composting is also included.
 
Lowenfels, Jeff
Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web
S591.L59 2006
Teaming with Microbes explains how vital the soil bacteria and fungi are to plants in breaking down organic matter into components they can use.
 
McGrath, Mike
Mike McGrath's Book of Compost
S661.M23 2006
Mike McGrath is a former Editor-in-Chief of Organic Gardening magazine.
 
Pleasant, Barbara and Deborah L. Martin
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide
q S661.P54 2008
"Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and producing the most flavorful, nutritious vegetables ever"
This garden guide from Storey Publishing (Books for Country Living) is not only very complete, it is interesting to read, offering intriguing asides like "Super-Size Your Night Crawlers".
 
The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener
S661 .R62 1992
From the publishers of Organic Gardening magazine and the monumental (1007 pp) Complete Book of Composting (1960, 1973), this smaller (278 pp) revised edition is geared to gardeners with limited space. It is still very complete.
 
Rodale Organic Gardening Basics. Volume 8, Compost
S661.R63 2001
At 106 pages, this later volume of Rodale's compost book is even shorter. Just the basics.
 
Squire, David
The Compost Specialist: The Essential Guide to Creating and Using Garden Compost, and Using Potting and Seed Composts
S661.S68 2009x
This British book should get you started with composting, if it is only to dig a hole and bury your garbage (pit or trench composting)...
 
Stell, Elizabeth P.
Secrets to Great Soil
q S596.75.S74 1998
"A Growers Guide to Composting, Mulching, and Creating Healthy, Fertile Soil for Your Garden and Lawn"
Covers composting but also green manures, mulching and other techniques for soil improvement.
 

Browse the Catalog

For additional titles, browse the library catalog under the subjects: You can also find information on composting in books under these headings:
 

Pittsburgh Resources

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