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Compost » Build A Compost Pile

How to Build a Compost Pile

Building a compost pile is as easy as throwing away your carrot peels. Just choose a place in your yard to build your compost pile, preferably tucked away in a corner or somewhere where the smell of the compost won’t interfere with your enjoyment of the yard, and start depositing your biodegradable kitchen waste.

If there is a threat of rats, mice, squirrels, or other animals interfering with your compost, you may choose to build your compost pile in a covered bin. Rodent problems usually occur when you combine yard waste with compost. Also be sure not to add any meats or bones to your compost pile, as these tend to attract rodents, as well.

When you build a compost pile, first choose the right place in your yard to place the pile. Then, start your pile by placing down some yard waste or kitchen waste. Avoid twigs, tomato seeds, and grasses (although lawn mower clippings are fine), as these might taint your pile or make it harder to manage. Let the pile build up for a few weeks, then turn it. The reason you want to wait to turn the pile is that the pile heats up in the center, and that heat is beneficial to the composting process.

Once you have a pile in the right place, and you turn it every few weeks, make sure that the pile is moist enough. Compost should be moist, but not too wet or too dry. If you find that your compost is too wet, add some dry material to it. If your compost is too dry, water it, but be careful how much water you add—you might make it too wet. Be sure to rotate whether you dry or wet your compost for optimal moisture.

If your composting is going too slowly, try adding a few layers of dirt or completed compost to speed the process up. This will help give the mixture some bacteria, and also break up any vegetable material that was slow in decomposing. Also bear in mind the importance of a carbon and nitrogen ratio in your composting process. These two elements come from green and brown compost, and their ratio should be 1:1. You might also consider adding worms to your compost to help speed up the process. If your compost is outside, earthworms and other beneficial insects will naturally gravitate towards your compost pile.

Finally, consider the size of your compost pile. Make it between 3-5 cubic feet. This particular size range lets heat build up in the center of the pile, which in turn helps accelerate your composting process. Piles that are too small are sometimes slow to compost, while large piles (those with a height of 5 feet or more) might be hard to turn. Cut and break materials into a size that is no larger than your thumb—this will also help speed up the process greatly, by helping beneficial bacteria and fungi more easily digest the material in the compost pile.

Jessica Madden is a self-confessed gardening nut. She knows many expert gardeners she can consult when she needs answers to her gardening questions, and she is happy to pass this knowledge along to other gardening nuts through her articles. For answers to composting questions from Jessica's expert friends, visit http://www.guidetocomposting.com

Source: www.a1articles.com