URI to offer composting workshop April 12

Posted on
KINGSTON, R.I. – March 10, 2008 – Gardeners interested in learning how to quickly turn leaves and yard debris into valuable compost are invited to attend a workshop April 12 at 10 a.m. sponsored by the University of Rhode Island’s Outreach Center and the Master Composter and Recycler Program.

Held rain or shine, the two-hour program will take place at a residential property in Warwick where 10 cubic yards of oak leaves are composted each year.

“By composting their own yard waste participants will create a material which will reduce the load on Rhode Island’s limited landfill, save money by not having to purchase mulch, reduce the need for fertilizer, improve the quality of the soils in their yard and garden, and increase the vitality of plants to resist diseases and pest damage,” said Reinhard Sidor, who will lead the program.

The workshop will address the principles of composting yard wastes; how to process landscape litter to produce usable compost in two months; the use of worms to produce a valuable addition to the soil (vermiculture); and how to make actively aerated compost tea for application to the soil and leaves of plants for increasing fertility and disease control. The use of compost in container gardening and in the planting of perennials and shrubs will also be discussed.

Sidor has been gardening since age 5 and became a certified URI Master Gardener in 2002. He has a doctorate in environmental health sciences from Harvard and retired in 2001 from General Electric’s Corporate Research Center. Prior to his GE career, he maintained a 25-acre vineyard in central New Hampshire. In addition to composting, he is experienced in growing small fruits, vegetable gardening, and landscape maintenance.

To register for the workshop, call 874-4453 or email Sejal Harde at Shar4096@postoffice.uri.edu. The workshop fee is $10. Deadline for registration is April 4.