Town Talk: City of New Ulm Compost Site

As of Aug. 1, the City Compost site located at 400 21st Street North will be operated by the City of New Ulm Public Works Department. The compost site is open seven days a week during daylight hours all year long, so please assist us by self-monitoring the site, as hours will be severely curtailed if we are forced to have an attendant on duty to monitor site usage.

Allowable material is limited to yard waste and brush only. Please use good housekeeping and do not bring unwanted or banned materials such as dimensional lumber or other manufactured wood products to the site. Remember to remove material from plastic and other non-compostable bags, a trash can is provided for disposal of such non-compostable bags for your convenience. Finished compost and woodchips are available free of charge at the site for city residents on a first come, self-serve basis.

Compost is an organic matter resource that has the unique ability to improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil or growing media that are critical for plant growth and development. It is a product resulting from the controlled biological decomposition of organic material that has sanitized through the generation of heat and stabilized to the point that it can be used as a soil amendment. Compost bears little physical resemblance to the source material from which it originates.

Grass clippings and leaves collected are managed to enhance the biological decomposition process of this organic material resulting in the creation of a dark, rich, friable, earthy-smelling material that can be used to improve your soil. Compost is generally not considered a fertilizer since it usually does not contain enough nitrogen needed for ideal plant growth.

Compost can be used in many ways: It can be mixed directly into garden soils, spread as a top dressing on lawns, applied as surface mulch around plants and trees, and added as an amendment to potting soil mixes. Adding compost to finely-textured or clayey soils will increase moisture infiltration rates, improve drainage capacities, and reduce soil compaction. On sandy soils, incorporating organic matter helps improve the soils ability to hold water and enables the soil to retain nutrients longer. As a layer spread over the ground surface, compost will help control weed seed germination, reduce water loss, moderate soil temperature extremes, and help reduce the compaction effects of heavy rains and sprinkler irrigation. Other benefits of compost include supplying beneficial microorganisms to soils and growing media, encourages vigorous root growth, helps make nutrients more available for plant uptake and supplies significant quantities of organic matter to soils.

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