How to Make Your Own Compost Pile
One of the great favours that you can do to your garden soil is to add compost in it. Compost has numerous benefits. It helps in growing healthy plants by enriching the organic content of the soil. It acts as a natural fertilizer and increases the yield of the plantation. Furthermore, most components of compost are waste products; thus it is an inexpensive way of improving soil fertility.
Commercial compost is available in garden supply centres but making your own compost pile is a fulfilling activity with loads of benefits to reap.
– Compost tumbler
– Green material (vegetable, fruit, grass clipping, leaves, weed)
– Brown material (paper, sawdust, straw and tree branches)
The idea of composting is to collect organic material and provide it a medium to be broken down by bacteria. This material turns into a soil like substance in the end.
The first step is to choose a location to build the compost pile. This could be the corner of the backyard.
It should have good drainage so that water does not stand. Furthermore, it should get partial shade and protection from the sun. If you do not have enough space to build a pile on the ground, you can use a compost tumbler or barrel box. These boxes are available commercial and they turn the compost around to provide it with air.
The area you select should be near a water source because the compost pile will need water which helps in breakdown. The area of the compost should be clear of all weeds and plantation.
It is better to build a single large pile instead of many small ones. The large pile works with efficiency in generating temperature for the breakdown of organic material.
To protect the pile from animals like moles and groundhogs, a chicken wire can be placed around thee pile. Plastic liners can also be installed to discourage root invasion of plants.
Once the area is decided and the ground prepared, it is time to build up the pile itself. Compost piles are composed of 'green' and 'brown' material. The green material consists of leaves, grass clippings, rotten fruits, vegetables and kitchen leftovers. However, meat and oil based products should not be put into the pile. The brown material consists of paper, dried grass, twigs and hay.
Collect the materials at the spot. It is better to break the ingredients into smaller pieces which increases decomposition. Now make alternating piles of the green and brown material over the area. It is good to use thinner layers of the green material and thicker layers of the brown content. Keep building up the compost by collecting kitchen and garden waste daily and dumping it in layers.
Wood logs can be used to provide support to the pile and keep it in place. Install logs or stakes around the pile in a campfire fashion. Turn the compost pile over weekly to speed up decomposition. Cover the pile with a plastic tarp during rain to protect it from excess moisture.
The compost will take around two months to turn into black gold for the garden.