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3 Month Plan for Starting a Compost Pile From the Bottom Up

A layering method first devised by Sir Albert Howard in 1931 while he was doing studies in India.

From the bottom up:

- A layer of brush (this allows room for air to circulate under the pile and gives it good drainage)
- 6 inches of green matter (grass clippings, green leaves, unseeded weeds)
- 2 inch layer of manure
- a sprinkle of limestone, top soil, and phosphate rock (the soil adds the microbes needed for decomposition)

Roughly repeat these layers until the pile reaches a maximum 5 foot height. You can add vegetable parings, coffee grounds, egg shells, sea shells, corn husks, straw, or rotted hay.

As the pile slumps turn the outside edges to the center. Turning the pile moves the less decomposed matter to the center. It will take about 3 months for the pile to turn into compost.


When the pile is mostly decomposed, start a new one and use the compost to add to your garden soil.


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