How To Begin
Keep in mind that composting materials should be organic enough to break down with gentle persuasion and a turn of the spade. You’ll want a good mix of gritty type organic materials like coffee grinds that can blend easily with several kinds of vegetable peels and skins. Avoid getting seeds from vegetables or fruits into the composting mix. These will definitely sprout in the compost pile under the right blend of conditions. Save the ash from the fireplace or outdoor barbecue so long as no other inorganic chemicals have been used such as those that start a fire. Ash has a good silica value as well as nitrogen. Instead of trashing paper from the home paper shredder, add it to the compost mix. Just be sure to include only shredded print that has no color ink dyes or the purity of the composting organic matter will be compromised.
The Turn Of The Spade
If there is one thing a compost pile loves, it’s aeration. This just means using a spade or tined garden fork to turn the pile once every three or four weeks depending on temperatures. A compost pile needs a cover to prevent too much moisture from disintegrating the mix. The simplest way to build a compost enclosure is to purchase 4 pre-formed, unfinished wooden posts about 4 feet in height and several yards of mesh screening. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Place the posts deep into the ground at least 6 inches. If stormy washouts are a regular problem, consider using quick dry cement at the base of the posts to hold them firmly into the ground.
The cover can be a tarp or something more elaborate. Just be sure it will be a cover that allows for easy access to your home composting pile. One tip is to save that worn clear vinyl shower curtain and cut it to fit the enclosure. Clean vinyl encourages penetration of the sun rays as well as helping to retain moisture.
Let Nature Take Its Course And Tend Your Home Composting Pile
All the fun of the compost pile is watching nature do the work for you. A good blend of sun, air and moisture will always be the most reliable agents that will create the desired result. Don’t forget to add your autumn leaves, twigs and grass clippings to your composting pile. Turn, turn, turn compost after any new additions so that air circulates plentifully throughout the compost pile. Don’t worry if winter is a tad harsh. The compost pile needs the extremes of temperatures if it is going to chemically react in balance with the elements of nature.
The Indestructible Compost Pile
So long as the compost enclosure is sturdily constructed, the forces of nature will keep the contents intact. It takes patience to see the final result of your composting work. There’s no magic wand that will degrade the composting mix in less than the time it takes to blink. Composting is, after all, an organic chemical science. Certain ingredients may hasten the process. This faster breakdown indicates a good balance between gritty types of composting ingredients and those that can degrade quickly. Using leaves and grass clipping as the neutralizing agent for odors is a good idea. By itself, grass clippings may be pretty odorous. In a compost mix, grass clippings add a certain level of chlorophyll. The same is true of ash as a form of sodium carbonate.