Building the perfect compost pile

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A compost pile can provide an excellent supplemental source of nutrients for your garden. If you have an organic hydroponics garden then good compost can provide essential nutrients for healthy plants via infusion to make compost tea. compost pile,compost bin,composter

And as with most projects, there is a 'right' way and, in this case, a 'not so right' way to build a compost pile. But first, let's talk about methods and compost ingredients.

There are two methods of composting; cold composting and hot composting. The 'cold' method is a compost left to it's own with no management. Scraps are merely thrown into the pile and never mixed or watered.

This method will produce compost after an extremely long time and tends to be rather smelly. This is the 'not so right' way. The second method, or 'hot' composting, is the preferred way to create usable compost in approximately 6 weeks.

Hot composting involves periodic watering of your 'pile' and frequent (twice a week) mixing of the pile with a pitchfork. This encourages bacterial growth to break down the organics and leave plant nutrients as a by-product.

So what can you put in your compost? Try to maintain a ratio of 25 'browns to 1 'green'. 'Browns' are carbon-rich organic materials such as leaves, hay, sawdust, rice or even shredded newspaper and 'greens' are nitrogen-rich materials such as lettuce, tea bags, coffee, egg shells and other kitchen scraps.

The goal is to provide the right environment for bacterial colonies to break down the organics - they use 'browns' for energy and 'greens' for protein. The closer you are to the mix ratio, the faster you will get compost.

As an added benefit, compost attract worms and worms excrete 'castings'. Worm castings are an excellant source of nitrogen for your plants - it is so good, in fact, you can actually buy worm castings. And, in case you did not know, worms absolutely love old coffee grounds...Good luck and happy composting!


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