There are certain tried and true procedures for making good compost. It’s more than throwing anything in a pile and expecting good results! Which will end up with a dirty mess or a dry pile infested with ants or other pests. Here are some time-tested tips:
1. It is okay to compost poisonous plants, such as rhubarb, yew, or poison oak, etc., because the heat during composting will break down all the toxins. If you have some poisonous plants that you need to dispose of, don’t burn them! The smoke will get into your lungs and can cause all sorts of problems. Just put them in our compost pile.
2. For successful composting, you need a mix of green materials, such as grass clippings, kitchen scraps, cow and chicken manure, and sturdier brown materials, such as twigs, cardboard, paper, plant trimmings. The larger pieces prevent the pile from caking and becoming sticky. Once you’ve finished your compost, if you still have a few twigs or other larger pieces, you can sift them out and put them in your next batch.
3. Don’t add diseased plant material to your compost heap.
4. Do not compost with dog feces or cat litter boxes, cooked foods, grease, or disposable baby diapers. Cow and horse manure, poultry manure, and bedding from your barns are great for composting.
5. It is necessary to keep the pile moist, but not too wet or it will not receive enough oxygen (aerobic) and will be considered an anaerobic (no oxygen) pile. Anaerobic batteries take much longer to break down.
6. Whatever composting method you use, the pile should be turned or turned often. This properly aerates the pile and speeds up the decomposition process.
7. Keep a compost bin or compost bin in your kitchen so you have an easy way to transport your kitchen waste to the compost pile. Both come with filters to control odor.
8. If you don’t make enough materials, get leftovers from canneries, or all the produce they throw away at Farmers’ Markets, ask your neighbors for their lawn clippings, get trash from farmers’ barns, or ask if you can go out on your pasture and collect “cow pies”. You are only limited by your own imagination and ingenuity.
Here are some different methods of composting:
You can have a successful compost pile using just a pitchfork. All you need to do is keep the stack together and turn it over frequently. Don’t let the edges get too dry or the top too wet. You may have a problem with rats, ants, and other pests with an unprotected, uncontained pile.
Using a compost bin protects your pile from pests and helps keep the moisture even. There are many available to buy; however, these are easy to build with wooden stakes, wooden pallets, hardware cloth, wire mesh, or a host of other materials.
Using compost cups is the easiest. There are several varieties available, from drum forms that are rolled on the floor to elaborate crank-operated systems. Some come with internal baffles to help compost materials aerate better. You can roll the drum around the yard or turn a handle or crank to aerate your compost. No need to use a pitchfork.
Here’s another suggestion: in the fall, when there are too many leaves, it’s a better idea to put them in a black plastic bag and make a leaf mold. The process will take about a year and will definitely be good for your garden.
The time it takes to finish your compost varies depending on the materials you’ve included, the time of year, and the type of composting method you’ve chosen. When it’s finished, you’ll have something very nice for your garden, and it was all from free materials you saved from the landfill.