5 Composting pointers for a n00b

Composting, everyone was telling me, ‘It’s so easy, it does it all by itself.’  Yes, every day some astronomical amount of composting happens without any human intervention.

So with that in mind, I setup a plastic compost bin and put all the compostable yard waste and left overs (non-meat) from the kitchen.

I checked it in a year and it seems almost nothing had happened.  After some quick research through some old gardening books,  (Thanks Carol and Greg!) I made these changes.

  • Put in the sunlight.  It likes to be warm.  Moving a compost pile is not fun at all.
  • Watered it like a plant.  Compost happens when moist
  • Made sure it got air, by putting the whole bin atop a pallet
  • Turn the pile over once every other month.
  • Adding lawn clippings.  This seems to also help speed up the process.

Now, I can feel the heat from the compost pile as it continues to cook. When I turn it over, the materials are becoming unrecognizable and more black dirt like.

Having the pile in the shady location without doing any of those things would have worked eventually (say, 10,0000 years) but now, I feel we will have quality compost for the next season.

The Compost Bin. Turk surveys our work

Table scraps, lawn clippings and some paper products get added.

You can see the nice dark soil underneath

Cooking in the sun!

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