Building Your Own Compost Pile

Essentially, composting involves breaking down organic waste, (anything that was once alive), much more quickly than the earth would do naturally. Composting is a great way to cut down on waste that would otherwise end up in landfills and can serve as a great natural fertilizer to help any garden flourish. Anyone can compost in just 5 easy steps.

First, select a compost area. A backyard is ideal for a compost pile, but some people have indoor compost piles, too. For those composting outdoors, the key is to select a dry and preferably shady area that is situated near a water source, like a hose.

Second, determine whether to use a pile or bin. Some people have compost piles that don’t have delineated boundaries, whereas other people utilize a plastic bin that holds the compost together more neatly.

Third, put composting materials in the bin. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, composting involves just a few key ingredients, including “browns” – dead leaves, branches and twigs, “greens” – grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and coffee grounds, and water.

Fourth, add waste to the compost. As mentioned above, any organic material or item that at one time was alive is compostable. When adding these items to the compost pile, be sure to also add water to moisten any dry materials. Bury new waste about a foot beneath the compost’s surface and mix it up.

Finally, cover the compost with a tarp to lock in the moisture. The nutrient-rich compost will be ready to fertilize a garden in as little as a few months to 2 years. You’ll knowwhen it’s ready when the material at the bottom of the pile is really dark in color.

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