Four easy steps to create your own compost pile
Composting is one of the easiest things you can do in your garden and also one of the most beneficial to the environment. Composting helps break down organic material faster which helps disposing of some of the eco-friendly items mentioned in this article. So what is it?
What is a compost pile?
A pile of garden and organic kitchen refuse which decomposes to produce compost.
How to create your own compost pile
Step 1: Choose your containment
The fastest and most efficient way of composting is to use a composting bin. Though, you can literally just create a heap in a section of the garden and just throw everything on top ready to decompose.
Top tip, is to find an area of the garden which is easily accessible for times when you may need to water the compost and for turning and distributing the compost.
Step 2: Start Layering
- The bottom layer should contain items like hay, straw, leaves, sawdust, corncobs, small twigs etc. This is known as the carbon layer.
- The next layer should contain items like vegetable waste, grass clippings, garden debris, fertiliser, manures etc. This is the nitrogen layer and acts as the ignition for the composting process
- The final layer you just add soil. The topsoil layer.
Adding different layers of twigs helps with the composting process as it allows the soil to breathe.
Step 3: Know what to put on the pile
You can compost almost anything that rots. This includes most food items and some of the biodegradable items mentioned in this article. Do not try to compost greasy or diseased plants, or foods like cheese and meat.
Other items you can put on the pile are:
- Dry leaves
- Used animal bedding
- Shredded cardboard
- Sawdust and wood chips
- Small branches/twigs
- Paper towels
Step 4: Maintain the pile
To maintain the pile simply stir the pile occasionally (every 4 to 6 weeks), by moving the inner edges out and outer edges in. Watering the pile is also important if it gets dry and during dryer weather (though don't let the pile get too wet through watering).
Keeping the pile hot is also important. This helps the decay process happen much quicker. Regularly stirring the pile ensures the temperature stays above 41 degrees Celsius.