COMPOST BASICS

Making compost is becoming more important as we are becoming more aware that the need to reduce our garbage is a necessity for keeping our environment and planet healthy.

Making it is an easy effective way to reduce our garbage and transforms our kitchen and garden waste into a rich fertilizer for our vegetable garden.

It is a natural process where organisms and bacterial break down organic matter into a rich dark soil material. This can be added to your vegetable garden beds to enrich the soil fertility and help prevent soil erosion.

Basics on how to:

  • You can make a pile with or without a container. There are lots of different kinds of bins available. Check in your local phone book to find out what is available in your area. I have always used a wooden structure. In our backyard my husband built a 3 compartment unit, with removable front and lid. At my commercial organic garden I use pallets. They are a good size, easy to move around and free at the local building supply store.
  • It is best to accumulate your waste and build the pile all at once, however it can be done over time, it will just take longer.
  • If you are making it over time remember that each time your put in kitchen scraps or other green matter , and equal amount of brown material should also be used.
  • The best time to make a pile is in the spring or fall. Heat or cold can slow down the decomposition process.
  • For best results, the minimum size of your pile should be 3 feet by 3 feet.
  • Use a variety of material with different textures. A pile of one item grass cutting for example will take a long time to decompose.
  • Increase the air flow in the pile by turning it.
  • Keep your pile covered. The sun will dry out your pile; the rain make it too wet.
  • Never let your pile dry out. Make sure the pile is watered regularly, but not too wet. Take a handful from the middle of your pile, it should be crumbling not form into a ball.
  • A pile will usually take 3-6 months to be ready, longer if it not managed well.
  • Is ready to use when a dark rich color, smells good and crumbles in your hands.

Now here are the steps to making compost .

More questions? Are you having problems with your existing compost. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.


Return from How to Compost to home page

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