Starting a Compost Pile

What are the dos and don'ts of composting? I know certain things can't go into it, but I can't remember what.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

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By Sharon Rafferty from East Hampton, NY

Answers:

Starting a Compost Pile

Any plant materials can go into your compost (leaves, cut grass, deadheaded plants, tiny limbs; any vegetable scraps, fruit scraps and paper scraps from your kitchen. Just NO fats or meats of any kind. I even rescue worms from the rain (lying on the pavement) and put them into the pile. A lot just naturally show up. Even shredded newspaper is very good. It doesn't take very long for my pile to actually compost. Enjoy! (10/15/2009)

By HalfWhit

Starting a Compost Pile

A good thing to help you get started is composted steer manure which you can buy from a gardening center. The idea is to layer brown materials with green materials. Brown materials are items such as dry leaves, straw, hay, shredded paper, newspaper, stale cereal grains, crackers, even cardboard boxes. Green materials are fresh greens, grass clippings, vegetable scraps and manure.

Ideally the compost pile should be about 4 feet x 4 feet, but to do that you have to have enough materials on hand from the start which I never do. I just start with a brown layer, throw on some manure, some soil for the microorganisms, then add my green layers as I take my vegetable scraps down to the pile every day. When there are enough scraps on top, then I add some more brown materials. Remember to add water as you go and then turn as frequently as is practical for you. The more you turn and the hotter the weather, the faster will be your composting... as long as their is enough moisture.

The following book is the best book I have ever read on how to do all types of composting: The complete compost gardening guide : banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and producing the most flavorful, nutritious vegetables ever. The author is: Barbara Pleasant. I was able to check my book out from the library for free. Since you specifically asked about how to start a compost bed, this may give you exactly the information you are seeking. (11/03/2009)

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By aprille1

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