Yard & Garden

Learn ways to build healthy soil, cultivate thriving plants and handle occasional challenges -- like bugs and disease without resorting to toxic pesticides that can hard kids, pets waterways and wildlife.


Community Compost Signup Form

Free Community Compost Program

Lane County Waste Management has been awarded a USDA grant to support the distribution of FREE food-waste compost to the community. The free Community Compost program aims to serve all Lane County residents and agricultural producers, with a focus on disadvantaged communities. Individuals, businesses, nonprofits, community gardens, churches and schools seeking high-quality compost can reach out to Lane County for free compost.

It will provide up to 5,000 tons of free compost to Lane County residents and agricultural producers and host four Free Compost Day events each year (8 events total).

Food-waste compost can be used as an alternative top dress for flower and planting beds, a seed cover for new lawns, and natural soil amendment for newly planted gardens. Use compost for preparing soil in flower beds, vegetable gardens, and landscaping areas for planting. Learn more at the Community Compost program page.

* Food-waste compost contains trace amounts of plastics, but always below the maximum allowable standard set by the US Composting Council.

Compost at Home

Compost can be easy to make and offers many benefits, from helping your garden grow greener to reducing the amount of material in your curbside roll cart, to reducing the need to purchase soil/amendments, fertilizers and pesticides.

The basic ingredients for compost are "browns," "greens," air and water. "Browns" like leaves and woody material are high in carbon - an essential ingredient for microorganisms in compost. "Greens" like grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps are high in nitrogen - an essential ingredient for microorganism that act as "decomposers."

Check out these useful step-by-step guides and resources offered by the OSU Extension Service.

Earth Machine
Lane County partners with BRING to ensure that Earth Machine composters are available year-round.
Earth Machine

Worm Bin
Worm castings are known to be an extremely valuable plant food.  While worms will do their thing inside any old tub or drawer, The Wormcycler makes harvesting the castings so much easier. Select the purchase option without worms and contact local yard and garden stores for worms.
Worm Bin

Great Gardens Without Pesticides or Herbicides

Garden chemicals are harmful to humans, pets, wildlife (pollinators) and waterways. The good news is that there are easy ways to care for your lawn and garden that avoid using pesticides and herbicides.

Here's how...

Lawn Care Without Herbicides
Mulch-mow (grasscycle) to save time, money and resources. Clippings act as free fertilizer. Leave the clippings or rake them in.

* Mow regularly, when grass is dry, taking only 1//3 off the top. Aim for 3 inches in height. This shades out weeds and encourages deeper roots.

* Sharpen mower blades at least once a year. When it's time to buy a new mower, purchase a push-reel mower or mulching electric mower to reduce noise and exhaust fumes from traditional gas-powered mowers.

* Hand pull weeds to reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides. 

Master Gardener Program

Learn how to compost at several demonstration gardens throughout the county, featuring self-guided tours and workshops offered by the OSU Extension Service in partnership with the City of Eugene.

OSU Extension Services
For more information about OSU Master Gardner's extensive compost resources and upcoming workshops, view more. (Due to COVID-19, call to check most recent schedule).

Get Answers to Your Compost Questions!

Call the Master Gardener Plant Clinic at (541) 344-0265. Open Monday through Thursday 10:00 am - 1 pm and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

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