A home compost pile is an inexpensive source of great organic matter.The following are a few tricks to keep in mind when you create your pile.
- Locate your bin in a level, well-drained area with good sunlight & air circulation
- Your compost bin(s) should be at least 3'x3'x3' to ensure proper heat build-up
- Try to keep the proper ratio of carbon-rich ingredients (browns) and nitrogen-rich ingredients (greens), generally 25-30 parts brown to 1 part green.
- "Browns" are dry ingredients and include dry leaves (shredded leaves are best), straw, sawdust or wood chips, shredded newspaper, and the dried trimmings from your garden in spring.
- "Greens" are usually fresh and moist and include green grass clippings, weeds from the garden, vegetative kitchen scraps, and manure.
- Keep your pile moist but not wet. If it becomes too wet it will begin to stink!
- Turn and mix your pile with a pitchfork every 3-4 weeks to increase aeration and ensure that the whole pile begins to decompose. This process is made easier if you turn your compost into a series of 2 or 3 adjacent bins.
- Using shredded material and turning your pile more often will produce finished compost much sooner - perhaps in 1-2 months rather than 4-5 months.