Ways & How

how to make a compost heap

how to make a compost heap

Learning the process of how to make a compost heap is relatively simple and easy since a structure is no longer required. The suggested dimensions for a typical heap are 3 ft. high by 5 ft. wide. For the length, it can actually vary depending on the materials utilized. The main purpose of providing a wider width is to retain the appropriate amount of heat for the compost pile. Also, compost materials can be easily added until there are enough to make a better heap size. Making a compost heap has a number of valuable purposes; it does not only help recycle kitchen and garden waste, but also provides a growing medium that improves the texture of the soil. A heap increases the health of edible plants. In other words, it is an inexpensive way to make useful fertilizer for flowers and vegetables. Many organic vegetable growers prefer to make a small heap since it is fairly easy to maintain and it can be set up at any time of the season. If you want to make your own heap, just follow the instructions below.

  1. Choose an appropriate location.

    Setting up an organic compost is very useful to a pesticide-free garden. Ideally, the selected area should be 3 to 4 feet away from any structure, so that insects can be prevented from entering into the building structure. For your convenience, consider an area that is close to your kitchen and garden. Use a shovel to clear a 6x6 ft. area. If needed, gather old wooden pallets and other materials to make a compost container.

  2. Collect compostable materials. Organic wastes like clipping, twigs, branches, and leaves are very useful. You can find all these in your backyard. Also, gather all kitchen scraps, organic vegetable wastes, corncobs, grass, branches, hay, twigs, fruit peelings, egg shells, and other similar items. Then, start to layer these compostable items.

  3. Create a first layer. Spread out a number of sticks, preferably branches and twigs, onto the ground or container bottom evenly. Continue scattering until the layer is 5 to 7 inches thick. You can consider adding sawdust, shredded paper, or wood chips.

  4. Create a second layer. Gather kitchen scraps and pour them over the first layer. Check the trash container in the kitchen and make use of the organic vegetable materials, tea bags, egg scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds. Your best nitrogen source can either be those kitchen refuse or pesticide-free grass. Continue filling until you make it at least 2 inches thick.

  5. Scatter dry leaves. If you want your compost production to be a little faster, chop the dry leaves using a lawn mower. Then pour a number of layers of chopped leaves over the pile of scraps. If you have remaining grass clippings and kitchen wastes, you should add them over the scraps, followed by another layer of chopped dry leaves in order to facilitate the heating process. If you are living in a dry place, watering the pile is a good idea.

  6. Look after the pile. You can use a plastic sheet to cover the pile. Determine the proper temperature by placing a metal rod into the heap for about 60 seconds. Remove the rod and feel it; if warm, the pile's heating temperature is appropriate. Furthermore, use a shovel to turn the pile every 10 to 15 days. If you like, you can add cow and horse manure.

It is advisable to make at least two compost heaps. The first one should be given time to compost without any interruption nor disturbance, especially when there is already enough materials; then the second one could be filled with new compost materials. It is crucial that you turn the heap so that the composting process won't take very long. These steps on how to make a compost heap are very useful to try during the fall season.


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