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Tips on Starting and Maintaining a Compost Pile

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By : Fredrica Smith    99 or more times read
Not all good things last. And such is the case with today’s environment. A lot of government and private organization programs have been implemented to troubleshoot the dilemma of environmental degradation. Thus, to become an active part of this worldwide cause, start employing eco-friendly measures right in your home. One easy way is to have your own compost pile.

Once this task is completed, you can enjoy many advantages. For one, recycling the biodegradable wastes in your home would translate to minimizing wastes going over the public dump sites. A good compost pile can be a great source of natural fertilizer you can use to enrich the soil in your garden. But you can only have these benefits if you pursue a proper system. Below are some key points to consider in starting and maintaining your own compost pile.

First of all, there are various composting systems available today. There are two main categories – compost bin and compost pit. The former option comes with several container options as well, such as:

  1. Tumblers with built-in crank – these can be bought from gardening stores. While these can be quite pricey, you can get to save time as these are easier and tidier to handle.

  2. Homemade cylinders – if you are in for a cheap do-it-yourself project, then this option is for you. The most common material used for this type of bin is chicken wire as it is very easy to be shaped in any form.

  3. Three wooden bins – each bin must be adjacent to one another and has specific purpose. The first one holds the new materials. The second one holds the partially decomposed materials. And the third one is where the fully decayed materials would be stored.

The other category, compost pit or freestanding pile, is recommended for homeowners who have wide vacant space at the backyard. The pit must be meters away from the house itself because the pile has grave tendency to become smelly and infested with rodents and pests. This is by far the cheapest composting system as you can save too frequent trips to the store to buy new bins.

Try to inquire from concerned agencies in your area if there are existing programs that support this project. There have been residents in some localities who received free bins or minimal financial aid for maintaining a compost pile.

To avoid having problems of pest and rodent infestation and producing odorous smell, proper maintenance is really a must. This you can do in several steps. Selecting proper biodegradable materials for the compost is required. Chopped leaves, eggshells, lettuce leaves, coffee grounds, wood ash and sawdust are some preferable materials. What you need to avoid are meat, bones, fish craps, perennial weeds, diseased plants, fruit peelings and rinds and black walnut leaves.

Appropriate layering of the materials is also needed. Basically, it works this way – the first layer is waste, the second is soil and the third is animal manure. Repeat and alternate the layers until you build at least a 3-feet tall pile.

Other crucial care tips include placing the compost pile in a semi-shady area, turning the pile on a weekly basis and sprinkling ample water on the top layer. These are very important to be rigidly practiced so as you can give the pile its basic needs – moisture and growth of beneficial bacteria and other organisms.

Once these simple measures are pursued, you can immediately enjoy having healthy compost. In return, your garden would be nourished with natural sustenance and the environment’s condition would be improved even a bit in your own way.
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