Composting — an enriching way to fertilize and recycle.
As the cost of waste removal becomes greater and greater, recycling becomes more important than ever.
Composting is an easy and rewarding way to recycle garden waste such as leaf and soft plant material. It’s also a great way to enrich garden soil with much needed organic material. This organic matter adds nutrients and helps hold moisture, both of which ensure outstanding plant growth throughout the growing season.
Compost piles can be placed on open ground, though care and patience are needed to shape and reshape when more material is added or the pile is turned over.
An alternative method uses small commercially-made bins that are economical and easy to assemble and use.
Start composting 30 days before freezing weather to make sure the leaves are fully decomposed. Compost-maker can be added to speed up the composting process.
Electric leaf eaters or power shredder can help cut down the size and volume of plant material.
How to make a compost pile
- Dig a shallow 6" pit in a small sheltered area. The best size for a garden is 4’x4’ or 4’x6’. It’s best to make many small piles rather than one large pile.
- Start with 6" of green matter, using different types such as seaweed, grass clippings, hay and leaves together.
- Pound two stakes in the center of the pile.
- Add 2" of manure, a sprinkling of wood ash or lime, and a nitrogen source such as bloodmeal or cottonseed.
- Add 1-2" of soil. Moisten. Keep adding layers to a height of 5’.
- Remove stakes for aeration.
- Turn pile every six to eight weeks, taking care to keep the top of pile concave.