Creating a compost pile is a great way to eliminate waste, reduce your carbon footprint, it is the best natural fertilizer for your garden, and it is very easy to get started!

Here’s the Where, What, and How

Where:  Choose a place out of the way, ideally has 1/2 day sun, and away from extremely windy spots.

In What: You can choose to either have you compost pile in a holding bin, a trench, built in holding units, turning units, or in a simple heap.

Tip: Build your own! You can do this easily with stiff wire mesh. It is inexpensive, it will give your compost pile the air it needs, and it will keep your pile all together in one spot.

How: A compost pile needs a variety and equal balance of carbon and nitrogen for the materials to break down and decompose.

Carbon materials are dry materials such as leaves, lint, paper, straw, dried garden debris, and dried grass clippings.

Nitrogen materials are food products like fruits, vegetables, vegetable peels, tea bags, coffee grounds, and shredded cardboard.

Tips for a Successful Compost Pile:

– Your compost pile should remain moist at all times. If it is dry you may want to water the pile, and if it is too wet you can add more carbon materials to soak up the moisture.

– Your pile needs to be turned with a shovel or pitch fork once a week to stop the pile from compacting. A compacted compost pile will have insufficient air and may start to smell.

–  A compost pile needs the right amount of air along with heat. The pile will not heat up if it is too small, too dry, lacks enough air, or lacks enough nitrogen. Try adding more nitrogen materials like fruits and vegetables, adding water, and turning the pile.

– If the compost starts to smell it may be due to not enough air, over-watering, being too compact, or having too much nitrogen. You can add more dried grass and leaves to soak up the water or turn the pile to increase the air flow.

Come fall, your compost pile will have successfully broken down into nutritious dirt, ready to use in your yard and garden!

More compost tips and uses to come.  Check back!

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