The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Composting

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Composting is the creation of soil from vegetation, discarded foods, and other biodegradable waste. Often called “black gold,” compost is used to enrich existing soil and create a healthy environment for plants. Composting reduces landfill waste by recycling food and yard waste that would otherwise go into the trash. It also reduces or eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers and reduces water usage by helping the soil retain water—all plusses for people concerned about the environment. Best of all, anyone can successfully compost, even urban apartment dwellers. Most people already have exactly what they need to make the best and cheapest fertilizer available.

Although other books present composting as a complex, difficult process, it doesn’t have to be. The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Composting removes the guesswork and complexity for gardeners at all levels of experience. It takes readers step by step through the process of,

  • Selecting the right compost container to filling it with the right “ingredients”
  • Maintaining the mix at the right temperature and humidity
  • Using the end product to enrich soil in the garden

The book covers both kitchen/yard waste composting and worm composting, which is rapidly growing in popularity.

About the Author:

Chris McLaughlin (San Francisco Bay, CA) is the author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting” (Penguin/May 2010) and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables” (Penguin/December 2010). An avid gardener for over 30 years, McLaughlin became a Master Gardener in 2000. During that time she picked up specialty certificates, one of which was a certification from the National Wildlife Federation as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat Steward helping people plan and plant for wildlife in their own yards.   Currently, McLaughlin teaches kids gardening and actively writes for several online sites including as a regular contributor at Vegetable and Fine She’s the Feature Writer of Vegetable Gardens at Suite 101, and also writes as the San Francisco Gardening Examiner for  When time allows, she relaxes and talks about her own gardens at A Suburban ( Her work can also be found in Urban Farm Magazine, and The Herb Companion.  McLaughlin focuses on guiding and encouraging gardeners living in suburban or urban spaces to grow food in their own backyards.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Composting

ISBN: 9781615640089, May 2010, $14.95

Author:  Chris McLaughlin (San Francisco Bay, CA)

Posted by on Sunday, November 21st, 2010. Filed under Living Green. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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