These instructions will help you learn the basics of the composting process. Composting is a cheap, environmentally beneficial way to enrich soil for gardening and landscaping. It helps prevent pollution by reusing organic materials instead of filling up landfills. Composting replaces the need for harmful fertilizers and pesticides, and also prevents erosion. No experience or fancy equipment is needed to start your own compost pile at home. This is not an exact science - just an easy, hassle-free way to benefit your yard. Just follow these simple steps, and within a few months your compost will be ready to add to your garden!
HOW IT WORKS
The composting process is comprised of four main parts: air, water, browns, and greens.
AIR : In order for fast decomposition, the compost pile must have plenty of air. This means that it is essential for the compost materials to be regularly “fluffed” and turned.
WATER : The pile should always be moist, not wet. As one compost-guide describes, the pile should be “moist as a
wrung-out sponge.” If the pile is too dry, the decomposition will be slowed. If the pile is too wet, air is kept from
circulating in the pile and decomposition will slow.
BROWNS : Dry and dead plant material. This includes straw, brown weeds, autumn leaves, wood chips, and sawdust. These materials often need to be moistened before added to the compost.
GREENS : Fresh plant material. This includes green weeds, fruit and vegetable scraps, green leaves, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc.
Step 1: List of Materials
-pitchfork or rake
-chicken wire (24 in x 10 ft)
-zip ties/cable ties
-gardening soil (1-2 bags of 40 lbs)
-compost material (refer to table of "What to Compost")
-4 wooden stakes 3’ - 4’ tall
-a friend willing to lend a hand!
What to Compost:
-shredded paper (omit non-recyclable)
-tea bags (be sure to remove any staples)
-vegetable and fruit scraps
-yard scraps (old plants, flowers, and small prunings)
-egg shells (be sure they are free from yolk residue)
What Not to Compost:
-non-organics (plastic, metal, glass, etc.)
-any material containing preservatives/toxins