You will want to keep your compost where it will get the most sun. The warmer your compost is, the faster it compost. Composting is the process of bacteria breaking down organic matter and warm bacteria is happy bacteria. You can compost any organic material such as table scraps, grass clippings, manure, and best of all coffee grounds. You can even compost newspaper and cardboard. The finer the material, the faster bacteria can break it down. You will also want to regularly turn your compost. You may also find it advantageous to use worms. If you use worms, you will want to make sure that any manure you use hasn’t come from an animal that was de-wormed in the last two months.
Composting is a great way to recycle food and yard waste. Millions of tons of organic material are thrown into landfills every day, organic material that could have otherwise been recycled and used for fertilizing.
The first thing you will need to start composting is a suitable bin to hold your material. You will want a bin that will retain heat and moisture. The better your bin is at retaining heat and moisture, the faster bacteria can breakdown your organic material.
Variety is key to healthy compost. You will want to have a combination of kitchen and yard waste. You will also want to have diversity. News paper, cardboard, leaves, grass, kitchen waste, and manure are great at retaining heat and moisture. It is also advantageous to include wood chips and small branches. Thicker yard debre such as wood chips will help the structure of you compost pile and allow for greater airflow
You will want to turn your compost every couple of weeks with either a shovel or pitchfork. This will help blend your material together and allow your compost to breath.
Too much moisture and you will end up with slime. Too little moisture and the bacteria won’t be as efficient at breaking down material. Ideally you will want your compost to be slightly damp to the touch.
A good compost pile will have a good amount of nitrogen and carbon. Grass clippings and manure are a great easy source of nitrogen. Whereas leaves and other yard debre such as small branches and newspaper are a great resource for carbon. But remember that diversity is key. The more variety the better. This is especially true when it comes to using horse or cow manure. Although they are a great source of nutrients, they can also be a great source for disease. So if you decide to use manure for your compost pile, remember that moderation is key.
If you have a fire place than you are one lucky composter. Ashes are great for composting.
If your compost pile starts to stink, don’t worry. A stinky compost pile means that all that bacteria and microbes are hard at work. The best way to cut down unpleasant smells is to add small branches and wood chips to your compost pile. This will allow your compost pile to breath. Turning your compost (you should do this anyway) will also help air out all the unpleasant smells.
When it comes to composting, bigger is better. The bigger your compost pile is, the more heat it will hold.
Compost piles have a habit of attracting flies. Flies of course lay maggots. If you notice that you have an issue with flies, you will want to add either a layer of hay or dry leaves to the top of your compost pile to keep the flies off.
If your compost pile starts to smell like ammonia, then you have too much nitrogen. You can take care of this by either adding sawdust or other carbon rich material.