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How To Build A Compost Pile?

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This is how you create the good stuff for the plants and flowers in your garden. Following are some general steps to follow in creating a compost pile on your property:

Location for Compost Pile – This can go about wherever you want but should be at least 2 feet away from any structures. Other tips include:

* Make it easy to get to or you won’t use it.

* Make sure the ground is level.

* A well draining soil location is important as well.

* Try to out close to some type of tree or structure (2 ft. space) to block wind which can dry out your pile.

* Shade if you are in a dry, hot climate to keep it from drying out in the sun and heat.

Compost Bin – This is a luxury because your pile can just be on the ground. It does make it more controllable however if you build a bin. Some things to consider:

How To Build A Compost Pile?

* A compost bin can keep the neighborhood dogs out of the pile (especially if you are putting kitchen scraps into it).

* Other Pest – There are more to worry about than dogs, other varmints will pilfer off this pile as well.

* Make sure the bin is easy to get into so you’ll use it.

* It’s easier to control when you are turning the pile; it keeps it in its place.

* The appearance of a bin is better than a loose pile.

Material Preparation – This is not a mandatory step but it helps to speed up the composting process. There are all sorts of things you can add to the pile to get it going good. Some of the better staring materials are:

  • Animal waste
  • Vegetative materials
  • Chopping materials at first for easy composting
  • Organic fertilizer (the extra nitrogen will help the pile
  • to compost faster).

Building the Compost Pile – This is where you actually start to throw it together. Here are the crucial components for a good compost pile:

  • Air
  • Moisture
  • Carbon & nitrogen materials
  • Mass
  • Time

Let’s Build…

1- Wet the ground under where the pile will go to help keep the soil from taking the moisture away from your compost.

2- Put sticks in the bottom of the bin for aeration.

3- Add nitrogen and carbon materials in alternate layers along with water (up to 50% of the compost weight should be water).

Cover on your Pile / Bin – This can keep critters out and help keep moisture in.

Routine Check of the Pile – Mother nature will most likely take care of your compost but checking is a good idea if you are up to it. You’ll check for heat with a compost thermometer and make sure it’s between120-160 degrees. If your pile is not hot, add more nitrogen to the compost.

Also, check your moisture levels. When you turn the pile it should feel heavy like it’s 50% water. If not, add water.

Turning the Compost Pile – This means to stir it up because turning the pile allows all the material to be exposed to the hot center and this also increases aeration.