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Implementing a Compost Site

Time

Budget

Skill

★ ★

Composting improves soil by supplying essential nutrients, suppressing plant disease, and adding necessary micro-organisms to enhance plant growth. All you need to do is gather certain waste materials from around your home that can be reused to benefit the environment. Follow the simple steps below to implement your own compost site.

Greenprint courtesy of NCNLA member, Fairview Garden Center.

Tools

Tool

Compost

4x4 pile, bin, cage, or wooden frame

Mixed-sized waste products

Water

Hot place for the materials to compost

Tip

Composting is best suited for any place that requires soil, whether that is in a backyard or a potted plant.

1

Gather waste from the kitchen (vegetables, fruit peels, rinds, table scraps, paper napkins/towels, tea leaves, coffee grounds, and eggshells). Gather waste from the yard (leaves, twigs, shredded newspaper, cardboard rolls, clean paper, and fireplace ashes).

Tip
  • Do NOT include dairy, meat, fats, bones, oils, pet waste, seafood scraps, plastics, stickers from fruits/vegetables, metals, glass, treated or painted wood, or any nonorganic items.
  • Use mixed-sized waste products (smaller products degrade faster, and larger products keep the smaller products from sticking together).
  • The smaller the woody particles, the quicker the process to break down.
  • Use a combination of green (moist) and brown (dry) materials, soil, and 2 quarts of water.
2

Create a pile that is 4×4.

Tip

Creating the compost in a bin, cage, or wooden frame of recycled old pallets will produce higher quality organic compost.

3

Water when needed (should stay very moist). This keeps the air from being forced out of the compost.

4

Add soil and manure to the compost.

5

Turn the compost pile. This helps maintain microbial action.

Tip

Quality compost should be crumbly, dark, and smell wonderful.

Congratulations! You did it! Sit back and enjoy your new lawn addition!

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