Composting has to be one of the easiest things and is one of the best things you can do for your garden. You don’t have to go out and buy any fancy barrel turning contraption, or even do an enclosure. It can literally be a pile. A sunny spot and a water source is a must. Keeping your compost pile hot and watered is key for helping it break down.
We have two compost piles. Our sectioned solution (seen here) and our pile. The pile we add our larger items to, which will decompose over time and the smaller one gets all of our kitchen and garden scraps. This one we turn and sift.
Here are some tips that will get you started:
- Add grass clippings (which add necessary nitrogen to a compost pile) Be sure to mix with the “brown” materials that add carbon. Both are necessary for quick decomposition and rich compost.
- Leaves are an excellent choice for brown material
- Do not compost fats, pet droppings (dogs & cats), or animal products.
- Newspaper or plain white paper from the computer is excellent for composting – just remember to shred it first to speed up the process.
- Add coffee grounds, worms love them!
- If adding ashes, do so sparingly. They are alkaline and affect the pH of the pile.
- Plants that have been treated with pesticides and/or herbicides (weeds and lawn clippings) should be avoided.
- Algae and seaweed make excellent additions to your compost pile. Be sure to rinse off any salts before using.
- Straw is an excellent source of carbon for your compost pile. However, it may contain weed seeds, so make sure the pile is “cooking” properly. used straw from stalls is a great addition.
- Halloween pumpkins are an excellent addition, just make sure to break them up.