Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Make Your Own Compost!

Since compost is very important and beneficial to the land I decided it is important to know how to make a compost pile. There are different ways and can be very low cost, if not free. It can also be quite simple to do!

How to start:

Find an area that is convenient for you and sunny because compost builds up its own heat and likes it too. Make sure the area is well drained because too much moisture can be a problem for your pile.

Some people use a bin to contain the compost, but it is not necessary. We do not do this at the garden.

Ingredients for the compost will be materials that break down. Green materials are a good source of nitrogen and brown materials are a good source of carbon.

Brown materials can include: bark, leaves, ashes, peanut shells, shredded newspaper, sawdust, vegetable stalks, twigs, fruit waste, pine needles, and peat moss.

Green Materials can be: manures, seaweeds, food waste, clover, hay, alfalfa, coffee grounds, garden waste, hedge clippings, seaweed, and algae

Building a pile of these materials is how to start the compost! Some say one part green and two parts brown is the fastest way to make compost.

Compost heats well between 120 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. It needs sunlight and heat because it helps “cook” the materials and break down faster.

Turning your compost is important for the process and should be done once a week. If you want to make the process faster, you can take your big piles of organic waste and put it in the pile as opposed to small amounts. Also cutting up large materials into smaller ones can also help speed up the process.

It is important to give your compost the correct amount of moisture. The moisture level should feel like a damp sponge. Check moisture level once a week because too little moisture will slow down the process.

Keeping the pile together, giving it food, making sure it has the proper amount of sunlight and moisture, and turning it are the correct ways to make organic compost that you can use for your garden.

3 comments:

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