creating and maintaining a compost pile can be easier than you think, and pay off big in the garden
Illustration: Sean Kelly
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Turn Your Leftovers into Black Gold

Fall doesn't seem like the best time to start a gardening project, but October is the perfect month to begin composting. Simply pile up all those leaves you've raked with yard clippings and select food waste, and microbes will naturally break down the organic matter to create a nutrient-rich soil additive. The decomposition process takes a few months, so start your pile today, and by springtime you'll have heaps of so-called black gold to nourish your treasured shrubs and garden plants—for free.
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