Mecklenburg County gardening, composting classes scheduled

CHARLOTTE – Mecklenburg County has announced a slate of spring composting classes.

Sessions include:

• Backyard Compost Train the Trainer Session, Feb. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Reedy Creek Nature Center, 2900 Rocky River Road. This one-day session is geared toward certified Master Composters and Master Gardeners who want to tune-up their teaching skills. The class will look at teaching methods used across the state, as well as alternative residential composting methods.

• Master Composter Training Program, begins Feb. 14, at the Reedy Creek Nature Center, 2900 Rocky River Road. This 40-hour training program is open to all Mecklenburg County residents who have completed the county’s Basic Home Composting workshop or have a working knowledge of composing. In return for their training, students are asked to give back 40 hours of volunteer time to the county’s Organic Waste Reduction program and its projects. The classes meet weekly on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon, and the course ends with a graduation lunch at the St. Alban’s Community Garden in Davidson.

• Bukashi Composting and Deep Mulch Gardening, meets March 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the South County Library, 5801 Rhea Road. This one-hour class teaches the Bokashi method of composting, an easy method that allows you to compost all food scraps. Participants also will learn to create a deep mulch gardening system that eliminates the need for tilling, weeding and watering while providing a constant source of nutrients for plants.

• Vermicomposting: Red Wigglers Are Your Best Compost Friends, March 22, at 6:30 p.m., at the South County Library, 5801 Rhea Road. In this one-hour, hands-on demonstration, participants learn to turn a simple box or container into a fine worm bin that keeps worms and decomposing food scraps in one area.

• Companion Planting meets April 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the South County Library, 5801 Rhea Road. During this one-hour session, participants learn about various companion planting systems and how these approaches can enhance flavors, provide pest control and serve as a cornerstone for organic gardening.

• Creating the Healthy Earth Happy Lawn meets April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the South County Library, 5801 Rhea Road. Learn to balance a lush healthy lawn with a commitment to being environmentally conscious during this one-hour free session.

• Mecklenburg County’s Annual Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Sale meets April 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 700 N. Tryon St. The county teams up with Norseman Environmental to offer the Earth Machine composter for $47 plus tax and the System RainBarrel for $58 plus tax.

For questions about any of these events, call Nadine Ford at 704-432-1970.

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