Do you want to start a compost pile but feel it's too much work? Or do you already have one and think that it is taking too long to produce a rich and healthy compost soil? Here are some tips that will help you to create richer compost faster!
1. Be sure to rotate the compost pile in order to get oxygen in the mix, which speeds up the composting process. Use a composting bin or tumbler to make rotating simpler. With a traditional compost pile, you have to rotate the pile manually with a pitchfork. With a bin or tumbler, that manual work is almost eliminated. For example, with the tumbler, you only have to turn the handle in order to rotate the materials in the tumbler.
2. Do not add food with mold on it to your compost pile. The mold may not be filled off during the composting process and could be spread to plants in your garden once it is added to the soil.
3. If you have the time, break down the items to be translated into smaller pieces before you add them to the compost pile. The smaller the pieces are, the quicker they will break down.
4. Add a variety of materials to your compost pile. Materials can be classified as either "brown" or "green" and there should be about 2 parts brown material to 1 part green material. Brown materials add carbon to the soil and include hay, sawdust and dried leaves. Green materials add nitrogen to the soil and include grass and food scraps. If you add too much of one item, it will slow down the composting process.
5. Do not let your compost pile get too dry or too wet. Moisture is an important part of the composting process. Too dry and the materials will not break down properly. Too wet and the pile will start to rot and develop a very unpleasant, stinky smell.
6. Insects and bugs are nature's way of speeding up the compost process. Flying insects and earthworms are the most common seen insects near a compost pile. Just let them do their job and make sure not to use any pesticides. In fact, the more earthworms there are in the soil, the healthier the soil is.
7. Avoid adding certain materials to your compost pile. Perennial weeds, such as dandelions or thistle, will just keep growing. Poison ivy can cause an itchy rash when you are working with the compost. Plus, some plants are toxic to other plants, such as sunflower seed hulls, heads and stalks. Finally, avoid adding cat litter and other pet waste, as it can be harmful to humans.
8. The warmer the compost pile, the faster it will decompose. Place your compost pile in an area that receives a lot of sunshine. The heat from the sun will heat up the pile fast! Just make sure to add water if you find that the pile is too dry.