Set up a compost pile in your yard – Just do it!
You can recycle your kitchen scraps and yard debris. It’s the smart thing to do to improve your garden soil and help the environment.
These tips from the Columbia Springs Master Composter/Recycler program are just the thing that you need to begin smart composting.
The SMART Composting Recipe
Size Matters – The ideal size for backyard composting is a bin or pile 3′ x 3′ x 3′ or 1 cubic yard. Even on their own, piles this size decompose quicker. Strive to have your raw materials the same size too. Taking the time to cut, chop or shred the organic matter is one of the best ways to speed up the decomposition process.
Moisture – Compost should feel about as wet as a wrung-out sponge. You may need to water it in the summer and cover your pile during your rainy season.
Aeration – Compost needs oxygen to support microbial activity and prevent bad smells. Aeration is just as important as the size of the materials, so pile your materials loosely. Consider a three sided enclosure or build on pallets for better airflow.
Ratio – Compost should have a ratio 1:1 by volume of “green” materials and “brown” materials. A pile of nothing but brown materials will eventually decompose, however adding even a bit of green energizes the process.
Turn – your compost pile periodically to speed up the decomposing process. Whether you create a simple pile and let nature take its course or decide on a more active roll in the process turning is the single most important thing you can do. Give it a good turn, now and then, it will benefit your compost.
For further reading you may want to take a look at some of our previous posts –Teach Your Family to Compost Kitchen Scraps and Create a Mini-Compost Bin. Plus the University of Wisconsin Master Composter resources page for workshop handouts and compost bin plans.
Do you find composting fascinating? Become a Master Composter! Find information at your local extension office.
Do you already compost? Tell us about it on our Facebook page or in the comments below and click through to our Pinterest board – Composting Turn Your Spoil into Soil.