Monday, July 16, 2007

Home Composting 101, Part III

Mark Highland, from Organic Mechanics, is back with another lesson in home composting....

How to Build a compost pile – The composting process happens like magic…the human eye cannot see the microbes in action, yet right before your eyes a properly made compost pile will heat up and shrink as the microbes eat the ingredients. In order for this magic to happen, you must build a good compost pile. This requires mixing the green and brown compost ingredients together in a specific ratio. Mixing approximately two parts “brown” to one part “green” is optimal and should result in great compost.

When adding materials to your compost pile from the kitchen, add the kitchen scraps first, then add a layer of brown materials on top of the fresh kitchen scraps. Try to layer materials on one side of the compost pile, then the next time you add material, add it to the other side. Alternating sides provides layers of compost ingredients in optimal mixtures to speed up the composting process. The next time you place green material on top of the brown material, viola!, you are layering your pile with minimal effort.

A general rule of thumb is to always add dry materials when adding wet materials to balance out the compost pile moisture content. If you are striving for perfection, sprinkle a light dusting of garden soil over the pile every 12 inches. This dusting of soil adds beneficial microbes to jump-start the composting process.

To learn more about Organic Mechanics Potting Soil, click here....

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