Let's Get Rotting in 6 Easy Steps
6 Easy Steps to get started on that “black gold” you’ve been searching for.1. Pick a Spot. Choose a sunny location that receives some rainfall or can be easily watered. When deciding on a location, keep in mind that a compost site can be smelly and attract critters so you may not want it directly beside your back door. On the flip side, you will be taking kitchen scraps to the sight regularly, so make sure it is in an area easily accessible.
2. Get filling. Fall is a great time to start your compost pile. Alternate filling the composter with grass clippings (green material) and leaves (brown material). Ideally you want a 4:1 ratio of green to brown material, but don’t worry if it’s not exactly right. Your pile may just take longer to decompose. Tip: Do not add any diseased plants OR poison ivy, poison sumac, or poison oak.
3. Add Household Scraps. Things like coffee grounds with filters, eggshells, banana or other fruit peels, vegetable scraps and stale bread are all great things to add to the compost pile. You can also add paper towel and toilet paper cardboard rolls, tea bags, Kleenex, and even human hair! All these things will add more diversity and nutrients to your compost pile while reducing your household waste. Tip: Do not add meat or dairy products.
4. Water the Pile. Sprinkle water over your compost regularly. It will need to be moist like a sponge. If the pile is too dry, the contents will take longer to compost. If the pile is too wet, the contents may begin to smell.
5. Stir the Pile. Depending on your style of composter, this will need to be done once a week with a garden fork. This will provide the pile with oxygen and prevent the materials from being matted down. Types of composters such as a tumbler system make this process easier, but our personal favorite is the RootMaker Enhanced Aeration Composter which requires no stirring!
6. Feed Your Garden. Finished compost can take anywhere from 2 months to 2 years depending on the size and ratio of materials, and the frequency of watering and stirring. Your compost is ready when it is dark, crumbly and smells like earth. Add 4-6” of your black gold to your gardens beds and pots to feed and enrich your soil.