Your Own Natural Fertilizer

Composting changes plants into soil.

When leaves decompose, the process changes leaves, grass clippings, wood ashes, and other plant materials into soil.

Key Facts

Half of the solid waste we produce in our homes and yards comes from plants.

Decaying plants create natural (organic) fertilizer.

Benefits from composting food scraps and yard trimmings:

  • Provides nutrients to your soil, naturally
  • Increases soil’s capacity to hold water
  • Depresses weed growth
  • Enhances plant immune system

Chemical fertilizers can’t do all that!

In 2015, an estimated 38% of food waste was composted in the U. S. and 57% was composted in the European Union.

Did You Know?

Nature recycles. Waste is a human invention.

Composting is like creating a probiotic for land
. . . adding microbes to soil like yogurt adds microbes to your gut.

Microbes recycle minerals, carbon and nutrients back into the soil.

Composting doesn’t stink because oxygen is present
. . . methane gas is NOT released.


You Care

We know you want to enjoy the lake for many years (and generations) to come. So, we’ve put together a list of simple steps you can take to reduce the nutrients, sediments and toxins flowing into the lake and its streams.

Don’t buy chemical fertilizer — Make a better natural fertilizer!

Compost your yard trimmings and food scraps.
Then, use your compost to naturally fertilize your plants.

Use the Torch Lake Watershed Compost recipe below.

Image: Texas A&M

Torch Lake Watershed Compost

  1. In a covered bin, mix equal amounts of Green Material and Brown Material. A covered bin will keep wildlife out of your compost.
  2. DO NOT add animal waste or these other items* to your pile. These items may be harmful —
    – release substances harmful to plants
    – attract animals or flies
    – contain pathogens harmful to humans
  3. Add water to produce a damp – moist NOT soggy mixture.
  4. Stir with a pitchfork routinely to mix oxygen into the pile.

Green Material

  • Vegetable Scraps
  • Fruit Peels and Rinds
  • Corn husks and cobs
  • Coffee grinds and Filters
  • Nut shells
  • Cut grass
  • Non invasive Weeds
  • Plant pruning

Brown Material

  • Leaves
  • Hay
  • Sawdust
  • Dryer Lint
  • Hair
  • Fur
  • Egg Shells
  • Tea Bags
  • Fireplace ashes (not from Duraflame Logs)

    Do NOT Compost*

    • Dairy Products
    • Bones and scraps of meat or fish
    • Fats, grease, lard or oils
    • Charcoal ash
    • Treated Wood Sawdust
    • Pet Waste
    In the Fall, fertilize your lawn with Leaf Mulch.

    Leaf mulch is formed when leaves are chopped up, allowing their nutrients to be released into the soil.

    Torch Lake Watershed Leaf Mulch

    1. Mow your lawn when leaves are on it without a collection bag attached to your mower.
    2. If needed, mow over the leaves twice to get them into small bits,
    3. Let the leaf mulch stay on the lawn to enrich the soil and reduce weeds in the Spring.
    4. Never blow or rake leaves into the lake or feeder streams. As they decompose, nutrients will be released into the water, encouraging algae to grow.
    5. Know your leaves:
      • Maple, birch, beech and fruit trees are ideal for mulch.
      • Oak leaves and pine needles should be mulched in moderation due to their acidity.
      • Do not mulch black walnut leaves. They release a harmful toxin for plants.

    Don't just wish that Torch Lake will stay blue.
    Choose a water-friendly lifestyle - make a difference!