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» How To Make Compost

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The insides of the composting bin enables you to easily turn the compost for faster decomposition of the organic matter.
The insides of the composting bin enables you to easily turn the compost for faster decomposition of the organic matter.
You can easily turn kitchen scraps and garden trimmings into the rich organic material that is known as compost.

Packed with nutrients that are essential to the earth, compost is made by the decomposition of usable wastes such as vegetable scraps, wood, leaves, which rot and are then replaced in the soil or around the base of a tree.

Composting is a great way to keep organic waste from going to the landfill while also making organic fertilizer for your garden and landscaping needs.

Making Your Own Compost Bin

You can build a compost bin from new, or even salvaged, building materials, chicken wire, wooden pallets, cement blocks or even plastic.

A garbage can will make a very small manageable container to use for composting as well. Whatever material you use, the key ingredient will be the open slats, or holes punched into the container. This will permit the oxygen to enter and speed up the decomposition of the organic materials contained inside.

Modular Composting Bins

One of the slickest things I have seen in composting was the use of the pallets that stores get with things like dog food or potatoes or what have you on them. These are usually able to be purchased from the store and more often than not, are thrown out, so it might be worth your while to ask to buy a few of them.

They are put together standing on their sides; four sides, no top and no bottom. The front pallet has the slats removed that go across all except the bottom one or two and as the compost pile grows they are replaced to make it taller.

Taking four of them, and then adding three more, to make a second bin, so that new compost can be in one bin while completed can be in the second bin. A third bin, if you have it, would be one to use to separate the compost which is completed from semi aged materials.

Simple Composting in a Bag

An easy alternative to the composting bin, for those who may be blessed with a very small yard or garden would be to use large plastic garbage bags, which are poked full of about twenty holes, an inch in diameter. Leave the bag in the sun and tie off the tops of them, to permit the heat to help facilitate the decomposition.

Shake the bag about weekly or turn it occasionally to mix the decomposing materials. In the end, when you are ready to use the compost, you can carry the trash bag in a wheelbarrow and use the compost right from the bag, and then begin again with a fresh bag.

Compost Consistency

If your compost doesn’t heat up well or is too dry, it must be hosed down to a very damp consistency rather like that of a dampened sponge. The dampness is necessary to maintain good decomposition; otherwise it simply petrifies or dehydrates.

Commercially made composting bins are generally more efficient than homemade versions.
Commercially made composting bins are generally more efficient than homemade versions.
Likewise, if your compost mixture is too damp it must be dried a bit with some hay, sawdust or peat materials to dry it out slightly.

Shredded or chopped materials will decompose more quickly as you might imagine, so before you put materials into the bin, help the process along by chopping ends of veggies, apple cores rinds to fruit and other kitchen scraps that may be hard to cut, grind up hedge prunings in a wood chipper or burn the wood and add the ashes.

Experiment with Organic Matter

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new things on the compost pile. The only real no is that vegetable material only should be composted, not meat scraps. While eggshells are fine, no other meat products should be added, however among the things you might add are chewing gum, matches, nutshells cotton balls, shellfish shells etc.

Take advantage of the richer soil that will develop around the edges of your compost bin by growing tomatoes, cucumbers and other small vegetables there in the summer. Turn the materials regularly to help them decompose rapidly and completely and to provide enough oxygen to the pile to help it decompose.

Make sure that you have your compost far enough away from your neighbors to prevent them from dealing with what they may feel is unsightly. Also, your compost pile should have a sweet clean smell like fresh earth. If it does not, then something is amiss and you will need to add some leaves or other organic materials to it to help it along.

How Your Compost Should Smell!

A sour decaying scent such as meat gives off is not the proper smell that you should smell if your compost pile is doing what it is supposed to be doing.

To give a finer texture to your compost, you will want to sift it. You can easily make a sifter by using wire to cover a wooden rack and sieving the compost through it.

Composting is easy and will give you a great sense of satisfaction, knowing you’re doing more than most people to help conserve and recycle organic waste and will help make your garden plants grow rich and plentiful.

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