How To Start A Compost Pile

This article explains composting three different ways. Information on conserve and reuse your kitchen waste.

Compost is made by taking organic matter, such as leaves, weeds, grass clippings and even kitchen waste and allowing it to decompose in a pile. In organic gardening you want this process to occur naturally, without the use of chemicals.

The end result is a dark, rich soil which is loaded with nutrients. This soil can be used to nourish your garden plants.

The first thing to consider is where you will build the compost pile.

There are a few different ways that you can build the compost pile. The most popular method requires a spot that is about a four to six foot square. Now you will need to put a layer of small sticks on the square. Your compost pile will be built on top of the sticks. The purpose of the sticks is to allow the compost pile to be ventilated. Air can come up under the pile.

Begin by putting about four inches of waste on the bottom, on top of the sticks. Next, put about four inches of manure on the pile. You will continue building your pile by putting in a layer of waste followed by a layer of manure until the pile is about four feet high. The last layer should be about three inches of dirt. The dirt will hold in the moisture which is very necessary for the compost to decompose properly. The compost should never be allowed to become dried out.

You will need to water the finished compost pile and keep it moist at all times during decomposition. Sometimes you will need to add extra manure to increase the nitrogen allowing the bacteria to work better.

As the waste decomposes it will heat up. The hotter the pile gets the better and faster it will decompose. Your compost pile will need to be turned after about three weeks. Push the compost from the sides and put it in the middle where it is the hottest. Keep turning the pile every couple of weeks so the waste can decompose evenly. After about four or five months you will have a wonderful, rich compost to use in your garden.

Another way to build your compost pile is to use a metal garbage can. This method requires much less space. Punch holes all around the bottom of the garbage can. Put the garbage can on a cement slab or flat stones. Put about four inches of dirt in the bottom of the can. Put a layer of waste from your kitchen such as vegetable peels in the can. The next layer will be leaves. Keep adding layers until the can is almost full. Put the lid on the can and in about four months you will have compost. This method is much simpler because you don't need to water or turn the compost.

If you only want a very small amount of compost you could use the garbage bag method. This is a very quick method and also requires very little space. In the bottom of the bag put about four inches of dirt. Put your kitchen waste such as vegetable peels in the bag on top of the dirt.Also put about four inches of leaves in the bag. When the bag is almost full seal it up tightly and put the bag in the direct sunlight. After one month you will have a small amount of rich compost for your garden.

Each of these methods works very well to make compost for your garden.

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