University of Florida
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About Florida's Online Composting Center

Turning compost pileWelcome to the Florida Backyard Composting Tutorial and Information Website.  Sarasota County government developed this website to assist Florida residents in their efforts to compost organic materials generated in their homes and yards.

Composting is the breakdown of organic materials by microorganisms.  Sounds complicated?  It's not.  Anybody can compost, even apartment dwellers.  All you need is a little space, water, air, some organic material and the desire.  Compost will happen!

Composting is important because 20% or more of household waste is organic materials that can be composted, rather than disposed, thus saving landfill space.  Compost is a valuable soil amendment that will help your plants thrive.  Compost helps your landscape retain water and nutrients better, and that means you can irrigate and fertilize less in areas treated with compost.   Composting is just good for the environment.

What will I find here?

  • Quick Tutorial - We recommend that you start here to learn the basics of how to compost in 5 easy steps.
  • "Compost Happens!" Tutorial - This Tutorial teaches you the details about composting. Plan on spending about 20 to 40 minutes to complete the Tutorial.
  • Compost Happenings Page information about workshops, conferences, demonstrations, and other information.
  • Learn More Pages - These supplemental pages include interactive learning tools, reference materials, and supporting documentation.
  • NEWS about compost.
  • Site Search - allows you to search our website to find information. See search box at in the top right of the blue bar on each page.

If you want to know all the pages that this site has to offer, please visit the Site Map.

We also encourage you to use the interactive pages.  For example, Virtual Pile calculates your carbon to nitrogen ratio for you, and you can test your composting knowledge at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Quiz.

Composting is important because 20% or more of household waste is organic materials that can be composted, rather than disposed, thus saving landfill space.  Compost is a valuable soil amendment that will help your plants thrive.  Compost helps your landscape retain water and nutrients better, and that means you can irrigate and fertilize less in areas treated with compost.   Composting is good for the environment and good for the spirit.

Happy Composting!