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How To Make Compost To Boost
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There Are So Many Ways Of Making Compost

How to Make Compost

There are as many different ways of making compost as there are methods of gardening and can be as easy, or as involved as you want it to be.

  • Passive (Cold) Composting - Hot Composting
  • Tumble Compost - Sheet Composting
  • Trench Composting - Vertical Composting
  • Green Crop Composting

The 4 Rules Of how to make compost

Composting is the simple task of combining the right amount of green and brown organic material with enough moisture to encourage the composting organisms to do their work.

No matter which method you use they all to some extent follow the same basic rules

  • Balance, Brown and Green
  • Water
  • Temperature
  • Aeration

Balance, Brown and Green

Photo of how to compost greens

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Greens are organic materials high in nitrogen, green plant matter, coffee grounds, grass clippings, fresh animal manures, high nitrogen fertilizers like blood meal, fish meal, guano and seed meals are some materials that are readily available.

Photo of how to compost browns

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Browns are organic materials high in carbon, a few in this category include, fall leaves, straw and hay, wood products, chip, sawdust, shaving and bark, paper and cardboard


Photo of how to compost water

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To keep everything active in a compost heap there needs to be sufficient moisture. During the wetter month a cover can help to keep the heap from receiving too much water and in hotter summer weather it is often necessary to add water.

Temperature and Aeration

While there are many different ways to compost they are all either Aerobic or Anaerobic

Aerobic Composting

How to make compost with air, often called traditional composting and is the most common system in the home garden for producing compost. The organisms responsible for the decomposition of organic matter in this system need lots of air to live and do their work. They generate heat while they convert the carbon and nitrogen inside the pile.

Because aerobic organisms need oxygen they die off as they use up the available air in the pile. Before this happens the heap will need to be turned to allow more air into the heap and keep the aerobic organisms population as high as possible for quick decomposition.

Anaerobic Composting

How to make compost without air, the organisms responsible for the decomposition of organic matter in this system can only live in environments that are devoid of oxygen.

Anaerobic composting is typically much smellier and take considerably longer to finish out. Little heat is generated and because of it this many of the weed seeds, plant pathogens and pests often present in garden residue and other organic materials used for making compost are not eliminated.

More Compost Pages

Sheet Composting - Break in new gardens or rejuvenate old ones over the winter month with little effort. It’s a really good way to compost any home garden from large to small.

Using Compost - Compost is a very versatile fertilizer-soil amendment, useful in every part of the garden it can be blanket spread directly onto the garden, mixed into the hole at transplanting time, utilized in seedling and permanent plant potting mixes and can be made into a liquid, often called compost tea and sprayed on plant foliage or poured around plants as a soil drench.

Hot Compost - A fully managed Active Composting system requires active involvement with a commitment of time and energy. If you want to produce lots of top quality compost as quickly as possible use this method. It will involves following specific steps in mixing and building the heap and then constant attention to detail and monitoring of the heaps progress on a daily basis.

Cold or Passive Composting -  is one step up from what Mother Nature has done since the beginning of time. If you dump all your garden residue into a heap down the back of the yard eventually it will decompose and produce compost. However it will first rot for a period of time and usually with an unpleasant odor. Passive composting is designed to eliminate the extremely slow, awful smelling process that takes place with careless abandon down the back of the yard.

Compost Ingredients - The list of materials you can turn into compost is as long as your imagination, basically if it rots and isn't toxic you can use it. There are of cause some materials that are better or more desirable than others. There is also some organic material that should never go into compost, or that need serious consideration. A good point to remember is the more diverse the ingredients are in your compost heap the higher the nutrient value is likely to be. Quality compost is worth its weight in gold.

Tumble Compost System - Of all the ways to make compost this system if properly used is the most efficient for small loads of compost.

Compost Potting Soil - While there is nothing better for a vegetable garden than well made compost, it can cause problems in a potting mix for growing vegetable seedlings. Compost used in potting mixes should have gone through a hot compost process to ensure all weed seeds and plant pathogens have been eliminated. For more about using compost in potting mixes follow this link.

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