|A Good layered Compost Pile can sit |
unattended and will do its work automatically
Some things, like grass mowings and weeds, rot quickly. They work as 'activators', getting the composting started. Older and tougher plant material is slower to rot, but gives body to it, and usually will make up the bulk of your compost heap.
"Greens" or nitrogen rich ingredients
Urine (dilute it with water)
Raw vegetable peelings from your kitchen
Tea bags and leaves, coffee grounds
Young green weed growth... avoid weeds with seeds
Green Tree Prunings
Animal manure from --rabbits, goats, cows, horses, chickens
"Browns" or carbon rich ingredients - slow to rot
Waste paper and junk mail
Pet Bedding materials
Crushed Egg Shells
You can gather enough material to fill your compost container at one time, or you can add to it as you get material. Now is a good time to start, because of all the fallen leaves and tree debris that will be falling soon. Make sure you have a mixture of soft and tough materials. You can chop up tough items using shears, and chop up leaves with a shredder--if you have one.
Mix ingredients together as much as possible before adding to your compost bin. I like to do a layering process, with one layer of "Brown" items; such as all the fallen leaves on the ground and old newspapers, and then I add a "Green" layer on top of that; with our rabbit poop/pee and left over veggies and tea bags. Then you do another layer of each until you fill your bin, or if you are just doing a compost heap in your yard---until you get it up to about 36 inches high. Water your Compost Bin or Compost Heap as you go.
Within a few days, the heap is likely to get hot to the touch. When it begins to cool down, or a week or two has passed, turn the heap. Add water if it is dry, or dry material if it is soggy. The heap should heat up again; the new supply of air you have mixed in allows the fast acting microbes to continue with their work. You can continue to stir your compost bin or heap every couple weeks, but the heating will be less and less. When it no longer heats up again, leave it undisturbed to finish composting. When your Composting materials in your bin or your Composting heap in yard have turned into a dark brown, earthy smelling material, the composting process is complete. It is best to start in the Fall, and it will be in great shape by Spring planting.
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