Compost is a dark, crumbly, earthy smelling form of decomposing organic matter. Composting is the most practical and convenient way to handle your yard wastes. It also improves your soil and the plants growing in it.
You can compost anything that was once alive. Yard wastes, such as fallen leaves, grass clippings, weeds, and the remains of garden plants, make excellent compost. Woody yard wastes need to be chipped.
Care must be taken when composting kitchen scraps. Meat, bones, and fatty foods, such as cheese, salad dressing, and leftover cooking oil, should be put in the garbage.
Simple Holding Units are the least labor intensive way to compost. Place the holding unit where it is most convenient. As weeds, grass clippings, leaves, and harvest remains from garden plants are collected, they can be dropped into the unit. Alternate layers of wet materials, such as grass clippings, with dry materials, such as wood chips or leaves. This method can take from 6 months to 2 years to compost organic matter.
Holding Units can be made out of old wooden pallets, chicken wire, or wood. Make sure there is adequate moisture, aeration (by turning) and cover it with black plastic.
Earthworm Composting is a good way to make high quality compost from kitchen scraps without meat, bones or fatty foods. Make bins with solid sides, drainage holes, and a tight fitting lid. Fill the bin with moist leaves, shredded newspaper or cardboard. Add a pound or more of red worms. Rotate the burial of food wastes throughout the bin. Every 3-6 months push the old bedding to one side of the bin and rebed the empty side.
|Compost has bad odor
||Not enough air, pile too wet
||Turn it, add course material such as straw or dried leaves
|The center of the pile is dry
||Not enough water, too much course material
||Turn and moisten. Add grass clippings or small amounts of water
|Compost is damp and warm in the middle
||Collect more material and mix with old material
|The compost is damp and sweet smelling but still will not heat up
||Lack of nitrogen
||Mix in nitrogen source, such as grass clippings, bloodmeal, fresh manure, or ammonium sulfate