Compost is a natural fertilizer for gardens of all sizes, as well as new lawns with no growth. Making compost takes a little time and a few different materials, but can be used on any organic garden.
You will need:
- Grass clippings or yard waste
- Spade fork
- Dry leaves
- Water hose
- 3 foot by 3 foot bin with 3 foot of depth
Step 1: Find a site outside your home that is close to the garden but is still out of sight from the road. Yard waste is commonly used for compost, as in this article. Place your large bin in the yard area you choose for your compost site, as the bin will be used to hold your compost pile.
Step 2: Add in the grass clippings and brown leaves to the large bin. Greens from outside are used for their nitrogen content, and browns such as leaves are used for their carbon content. Fork equal amounts of both brown and green yard waste, depending on the size of your bin, as you can use a larger bin than recommended.
Step 3: Mix the brown leaves and grass clippings together with the shovel. Rotate between adding greens and browns back and forth, and continue to mix thoroughly with the shovel until the pile in the bin is 3 cubic feet. This size pile will heat faster and will break down easier than smaller piles. Do not ever add animal droppings, weeds, dairy products or oils to the compost as it will ruin your pile. It is not recommended that you cover a compost pile, as this will set up bacteria and molds.
Step 4: Add water to the completed compost pile, little by little, and turn with the shovel every few minutes to mix. The completed compost pile will feel much like a damp sponge to touch. Once all the compost is covered in this amount of water, leave the compost to dry. Turn the pile on a weekly basis and water to replenish the moisture. When turning the pile, move the outside material to the inside. When the compost no longer heats up, it is ready to be used. The compost at the bottom and middle sections of the pile are normally ready before other areas, so it is important to turn frequently.