Composting Maintenance and Containers

January 4, 2014

Once you establish your compost pile and it is properly mixed with green and dead plant material it should be fairly easy to maintain.  During the summer hot months you should have a final product to use within one to two months.  The content will be reduced by at least half and have an earthy smell.

compost recycleMake sure you keep the moisture content uniform.  The outside of the pile with be dry on the outside, but keep the center moist.  Dry plant wastes quickly stop composting.  This does not mean to have the pile wet, but moist.

An aeration tool to reach into the compost to lift and move the plant material around is important to maintain uniform moisture.  Turn the entire pile occasionally to keep it aerated.

Small amounts of fresh materials may be added especially if it is a vertical compost system.  If not, too much fresh material will result in a pile that is not equal in mix.  If you have a lot of fresh material, make a new pile instead of combing with fully decomposed pile.

Use of the compost is great in sandy soil to amend the soil.  Or use in breaking up clay type soil.  Each year when you plant a new garden, use of the compost material is also great.  Potted plants both indoor and outdoor benefit from compost.  You can also use as a mulch to cool the soil and conserve moisture in 4-5 inch layer.  It is light and can blow away easily though.Sample homemade bins

Simple structures can be posts in four corners with wire fence around it, or board slats around it.  Man made material ones can be purchased at your local home improvement store.  You will want some sort of removable gate or slats near the bottom of the bin to extract the finished compost as needed.

Sample binsEnhanced by Zemanta

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