7 Factors Needed for a Compost Pile

If you try to compose your own compost, the following 7 factors will help you master the art of composting;

1. Materials
Anything alive will naturally decompose. But, not all organic items should be decomposed for the home. You need organic material, microorganisms, air, water, and a small amount of nitrogen are needed when you are preparing to compost. The items which safe to compost at home are trimming hedges, grass clippings, vegetable scraps, leaves, potting soil that has grown old, twigs, coffee filters, coffee grounds, tea bags, weeds and plant stalks.

Do not ever compost these items cause it’s not safe:
a. weeds that have gone to seed
b. dead animals
c. bread and grains
d. cooking oil
e. grease
f. meat
g. pet feces
h. diseased plants
i. oily foods
2. What To Do To Make It Work

Microorganism will break down the organic materials. Nitrogen, air, and water will provide a favourable environment for the microorganisms to make the compost. Microorganism will keep healthy when the air circulation and water are good. You may have to add a small amount of nitrogen to the pile as nitrogen feeds the tiny organisms. Do not put too much nitrogen. It can kill microbes.

3. Beneficial Microorganisms
Bacteria are the most effective compost makers in your compost pile. They are the first to break down plant tissue. Fungi and protozoans will help you with the process. The arthropods, like centipedes, beetles, millipedes and worms, bring in the finishing touches to complete the composting.

4. Smaller is Better
Chopping your garden materials with a chipper, shredder, or lawnmower will help them decompose faster.

5. Size of The Pile
Piles that are any larger may hamper the air supply needed in the pile for the microorganisms. The activity of millions of microorganisms generates heat in the compost pile. The minimum size 3-foot by 3-foot by 3-foot is needed for a hot, fast composting pile.

6. Moisture and Aeration
The ideal environment for the microorganisms in the pile to function at their best is a wet squeezed out sponge with its many air pockets. Water in a drought and maybe turn the pile in a lot of rainy days.

7. Temperature and Time
Keep your pile between 110F and 160F and the beneficial bacteria will love it. Not too cool nor too hot.

How to use the compost:
mix 2 to 5 inches of compost into gardens before planting
A potting mixture, add one part compost to two parts potting soil
top dressing, mix finely sifted compost with sand and sprinkle evenly over lawns
A mulch, podcast 2 to 4 inches of compost around annual flowers and vegetables, and up to 5 inches around your trees and shrubs

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