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Vegetable Gardening Hints, Issue #041
October 24, 2011

Tips for making great compost.

While traveling in Europe and working on organic farms I was involved a beautiful process of making compost. The five-acre farm accumulated all their garden debris over the course of 6 months and made a compost pile which turned into a rich compost in 6 weeks of making the pile.

They separated all their debris into piles of green matter also known as ( nitrogen material ), brown matter also known as ( carbon material ), and a third pile of left over compost and soil. They also collected all their own urine. Before assembling the pile they made sure all the brown matter was chopped into small pieces, using a manual chipper.

They started by clearing and leveling a 4-foot by 4-foot area. The started by laying a foot of green matter as the first layer, they then added a foot of brown matter, then six inch layer of compost or soil, and the final piece was pouring a bucket of urine over the pile (we had to make sure we weren't downwind). The layer continued until all debris was in the pile. We were on stepladders at this point as the pile got to a height of 7 feet and the the ladders were necessary to pour on the last few bucket of urine.

The next day we came back to look at the pile and it had dropped by nearly half the height and was steaming. Over the week we were there we could see the pile steaming, sweet smellig, decomposing and they had lovely rich smelling compost within 6 weeks. We only saw pictures of the completed pile but were so pleased that we were able to be part of the creation.

This may not be the way you want to make your compost however there are a few tips that you can use from this process in your own backyard compost endeavors.

  • Tip #1 Chop larger pieces of debris
  • Tip #2 Layer equal amounts of green matter, brown matter, and soil.
  • Tip #3 Make sure your pile is moist but not soggy.
  • Tip #4 Make your pile large enough so it will hot in the center (3 feet square is the minimum you want to have)

My new ebook "Why is Soil so Important" will be for sale in November so you can use it for your planning for next season.

"My 2012 Vegetable Garden Journal" and the

2012 Vegetable Planting Calendar will also be available for purchasing in early November. Look for all 3 for some wonderful winter reading and planning.

Vegetable gardening books written by Catherine Abbott, Your Vegetable Gardening Helper.

Please contact me
with your comments and suggestions.

If you have enjoyed this ezine please tell a friend.

Welcome to the world of vegetable gardening!


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