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How to Make a Compost Pile

One of the most obvious ways of garden recycling is to compost all your garden waste. Or at the very least, compost al the waste which is simple to compost! While you’re at it you could also recycle all (or very nearly all) your kitchen waste too.

But for those new ‘Garden Composters’ who have not composted before can get bogged down in all the technicalities of how to make a compost pile. Do you need a commercial compost bin or is a homemade item as good?

Making compost at home really is a straightforward affair. You just need a little space and the time to set up your garden composting system. Once you’ve got it, its yours forever, so set aside one weekend and make yourself a compost pile to be proud of!

Whether you use a commercial plastic compost bin, wooden beehive compost bin, a box made yourself or indeed leave an area with no borders at all and simply create a compost heap on the ground, is not the important bit. All ways will work providing you know how to make the actual compost pile, not the surround for it.

The main thing to remember is that locating the compost pile on open ground will speed up the whole process of decomposition. All the microbes and organisms which carry out the work of the compost heap will be in your garden soil already. So siting the pile on that soil, allows the necessary organisms to access the compost quickly and easily. Later on, when the pile has decomposed to a degree, and cooled, the worms from your garden soil will be able to get into the heap easily and finish off the fine tuning of the heap, creating a fine, crumbly mass of hummus for free.

The second thing to remember is that your compost pile needs to be a layered affair. Put huge masses of one type of thing in it, and you’re likely to find those huge masses still there when you want to use the compost. Layer your additions to the heap and organisms can work through it all easily. Different additions will provide different nutrients and texture to the heap. Mix them all up and the resulting hummus will have all those different nutrients, mixtures of textures and water retaining capabilities throughout.

So when you make your compost pile, make sure you add small amounts of everything in layers. So if you’re adding some vegetable peelings today, follow them with some grass clippings, then some poultry bedding, then some shredded card. If you don’t certain things will compact and ferment rather than breaking down. Grass clippings are often the main culprit, creating a huge swathe of slime within the heap!

So when thinking about how to make a compost pile, just make sure you site the pile on earth, and always add ingredients in layers.

The author writes in more detail about garden compost and garden recycling at Garden Composter.

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