To keep your compost pile healthy and happy, it … See : What To Compost And What NOT To Compost. All you really need is: a free square yard in the backyard; water; material to compost ; As long as you don't mind the open pile, there is nothing stopping you from dumping kitchen peelings and some yard clippings in an out-of-the-way garden corner. It is exactly what it sounds like, a big pile you add your greens and browns to, and turn over with a pitchfork every once in a while. Compost piles also break down faster in … From what I am reading online to have a successful compost you need lots of sunlight to break down the organic matter. Dut a hole at the bottom on one side of pile to retrieve compost for garden. I would make serious compost if we had the resources for it, but we only have the byproducts of our family of 4, some chickens and guinea pigs. If you keep adding kitchen scraps to a compost pile, each addition will be at varying stages of decay. This can make it difficult to know when to harvest finished compost. Your bulkier organic materials do best in the first ground layer, so start with a layer of browns, such as twigs (less than ½ inch or 1.25 cm. By starting one now, there is enough time for the materials to decompose and be added to the garden/yard in the fall. How To Start Composting : Life Kit Whether you've got a small apartment or a big backyard, there are ways to compost your kitchen scraps in any space. Finally, when starting a new pile, always use an activator to jump start the decomposition process. Compost piles, sometimes called heaps, are an effective way to produce large amounts of compost for a large garden plot. Spring is a perfect time to start a compost pile in your yard. You can use a bit of a former compost pile as an inoculant, so always remember to leave a little behind, when you start a new pile. Both of these methods start with digging a large hole — big enough to accommodate the butt end of a barrel in one case, and large enough to hold most of a compost pile in the other. Boxes are ideal. If this is your first time composting, you may want to do a little background reading so you know the basics of composting. However, you are better off sticking to the above-mentioned items and avoiding additions that may cause issues or could even be dangerous for your family. There are advantages to each method. This technique involves filling the container to its capacity and not adding new waste to it as it decomposes. My compost pile is located in the garden, where it's handy when I want to add some to the garden beds. Compost can pile up quickly in the winter months because decomposition is very slow. I am new to gardening and composting.I am trying to figure out when is the best time to start a composting pile. Nope. Harvesting finished compost is especially important if you are working with small bins or tumblers. The only things that you will need to make a compost pile are the materials that you will be composting, a way to get them to your compost pile, and a rake, shovel, garden fork, or whatever tool you choose to use to turn your pile once every week or 2. I have used this method, piling my leaves in a 6 ft. x 6 ft. crib for the winter. What to do Making compost. One plant we do not add to our compost pile are tomatoes. Since most of your scraps that come from your kitchen will be nitrogen-rich, be sure to add yard waste such as straw, dried leaves and plant debris. 2: Compost Pile. Multiple piles for a constant supply. Protecting your compost pile If you do decide to start a compost pile in your backyard and you don't have a lid on your compost, you must cover it with dirt regularly. You can choose to start a compost pile inside of a container or you can simply create a free-standing pile in a corner of your yard. They develop more heat in the sunlight. An activator is nothing more than a supply of organisms and bacteria that help to start breaking a pile down faster. And city dwellers with little-to-no yard space can use a container on their balcony. Do I Need a Compost Bin to Start a Pile? Some gardeners prefer to locate their pile near the source of their materials, whether it's the chicken coop or a horse barn, etc., for ease in moving the raw materials. It’s essential to keep the pile moist. This means that you have to collect a large amount of waste before starting to use your compost tumbler. You can use the cold or the hot method to start a compost pile. They also add in too many volunteer seeds from rotting or green tomatoes. The fall is an especially good time because it’s a time when people usually have the most compostable waste. Although there are different approaches to home composting, these compost tips will help get any outdoor pile off to a good start. It can easily be done in a corner of your garden or back yard. This lets the soil absorb the nutrients until it gets warmer again and benefit your plants. Without air, your pile will start to rot and smell. You can't have raw melon rinds out there and different scraps in plain view, uncovered, or you will attract lots of pests that you don't want, including cockroaches, raccoons, maybe even rats. Containers can be good for keeping the pile neatly in one place, especially if you have a smaller yard and want it to look tidy, and they can also help to keep animals out of the pile. I really hope you will go out and build a compost pile. However, with some wintertime adjustments, you can indeed make compost during the colder months of the year. The pile … People who live in very cold areas can have more success with a compost container kept in their garage. How to Start a Compost Pile. Once you have chosen a compost bin and site for it there are a few simple rules to follow. Start your compost by layering a thick layer of shredded cardboard — thicker when starting a compost pile on the ground –as a base. Spring is the ideal time to start a compost pile. Starting a compost pile from scratch is often seen as daunting and people don’t know how to build a compost heap, so many people just avoid it for fear of ‘doing it wrong’. Making a compost pile doesn't have to be complicated. Though using a bin of some sort to keep your materials contained, it isn't necessary. Getting your pile to heat up naturally depends on a long list of factors, including pile size, materials, layering, moisture, external heat, and other variables. You’ll know your compost is ready to use if the original organic materials are no longer recognizable and if the compost is dark and crumbly with an earthy odor. Hello! Composting is a method of recycling naturally decomposing matter. 6 Responses to “Start Spring With a New Compost Pile.” David Lesieur Says: February 26, 2018 at 2:15 am. go feed your garden soil with this for a happy abundant garden. In the spring when the weather warms up, the compost pile will naturally start heating up again. Making compost is 1-2-3 easy — layer green and brown vegetable matter, keep it barely moist and stir regularly. Starting a Compost Pile. You can continue to add compostable food waste throughout the winter. Compost, that rich mixture of organic materials added to garden soil that boosts plant growth and development, typically requires warmth for the bacteria to break down plant material. Moisture helps break everything down; sprinkle the compost with water every now and then, unless your scraps are wet enough on their own. However, you can compost brown materials with little in the way of greens. Winter composting: is it too cold to start a compost pile? In the spring, your pile will be ready to rot. Using the hot method will kill bacteria as well as weed seeds. When starting a compost pile, the recommended practice is to layer or alternate these greens and browns, the same way as you would for making lasagna. Then add whatever you have, keeping in mind the Carbon to Nitrogen (Brown to Green) ratio. Talk about the perfect material to start a fast working compost pile. Black trash bags are best. There are composters out there who put pretty much everything in their compost piles, including their own feces, so it can sometimes seem like anything goes in regard to how to start a compost pile. Tip 1: Get the brown/green ratio right. Site and Design of Compost Piles. Hanging Baskets, Pots & Container Soil. It requires the same basic ingredients and skills to make. Also, if you have too many leaves compared to greens, make a leaf bin. Using the Batch Pile method would be best for a compost tumbler as it offers the fastest and most efficient results. The dirt dug out of the hole can be set aside nearby and used bit by bit as an inoculator. However, if I start composting in Spring and if it takes me 4-6 months to successfully compost, how will I use that for the summer gardening? Requirement No. No space or inclination to start an indoor compost bin. Compost should have the right balance of green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon) ingredients. The first option, and the one people usually think of first is the compost pile. And the best form of an activator is compost from your old pile! Use them to cover your kitchen scraps when you add to the pile/bin during winter (you DO save your kitchen scraps all year, right? Anytime is a good time to start a compost pile. It may help to start a big pile in the spring, then let it sit (stirring occasionally) and start … Making a compost pile for a hotbed is very similar to building a compost pile for the purposes of making compost. When your compost is ready to use make this easy compost screener to sift it into the perfect size for adding to your garden beds. How to Start a Compost Pile. Starting in fall is really the best way to have compost in the spring for planting time. Keeping compost pile moist. in diameter) or straw, about 4 to 6 inches (10-12 cm. There are other things which make a good compost pile, but I’ll save that for google to explain to the curious. I turned over my compost pile today, and for the first time in several months the soil was warm enough to see worms munching away. #5 Activate Your Compost Pile . Add food compost to center; let this sit all winter and in spring, start to water the pile. Your well-balanced compost will help in the spring when it's time to start a garden. Please read: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. Some compost piles are hot, while others never get very warm, and this is a function of the biological activity in the pile while the organisms do their thing. I've been saving coffee grounds and vegetable trimmings in a 5 gallon bucket, I figure by spring I will have plenty to layer in with leaf mulch, a little manure, etc, so I can build a decent-sized pile quickly and get it heating up. Indoor alternatives to the outdoor compost pile. One solution is to stockpile brown materials until some greens are available in the spring and then build the pile. They simply have too much risk of carrying disease. ). In the spring you can add the composting leaves from the bags into your piles or directly in your garden, depending on their condition. A compost pile is certainly the most affordable way to get started composting, but it’s not the only option. 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