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By taking a few key steps when creating your compost pile, you can speed up the process. With a little bit of work now, you’ll have plenty of “black gold” to use in your gardens, flowerbeds, containers, and hanging baskets next year.
Here are the specific key steps to take when creating a compost pile:
- Choose a shady spot in your yard that gets good drainage.
- Build a pile that is at least 3 feet wide, 3 feet tall, and 3 feet deep.
- Layer the pile with alternating layers of “green” materials (such as grass clippings, vegetable scraps, and fruit peels) and “brown” materials (such as dead leaves, straw, and shredded paper).
- Keep the pile moist but not soggy.
- Turn the pile every few weeks to aerate it.
With a little bit of care and attention, you can have a thriving compost pile in no time. Once your compost is ready, you can use it to improve the soil in your gardens, flowerbeds, containers, and hanging baskets.
Here are some additional tips for making compost:
- Chop up your materials into small pieces before adding them to the pile. This will help the composting process go faster.
- Avoid adding meat, dairy, or pet waste to your compost pile. These materials can attract pests and diseases.
- If you live in a hot climate, you may need to water your compost pile more frequently.
- If you live in a cold climate, you may need to cover your compost pile to protect it from the cold.
With a little bit of effort, you can easily make your own compost at home. Compost is a great way to reduce your waste, improve your soil, and help your plants grow healthy and strong.
How To Build The Perfect Fall Compost Pile
Remember To Shred!
To make your compost pile break down faster, shred your materials before adding them to the pile. The larger the pieces, the longer it will take them to decompose. This applies to leaves, garden debris, vegetables, pumpkins, and gourds. If you don’t have a chipper or shredder, you can use your lawn mower to chop and shred the materials.
An electric chipper/shredder can make quick work of shredding compost materials, but a lawnmower will also do the job. By shredding everything now in the fall, your compost will be ready to use next year. (Product Link: Wen Electric Chipper / Shredder)
And don’t forget to turn that pile every week at least once. The more you turn, the more oxygen you add. And when oxygen is present in a pile, good things happen. Now let’s take a look at what to put in that fall compost pile!
What To Put In A Fall Compost Pile
Hanging Baskets, Pots & Container Soil
Spent hanging baskets and container plants are the perfect material to start a fast-working compost pile. The foliage stems, and roots break down quickly, and the potting soil around the plant adds structure to the compost pile.
Here’s how to compost your old hanging baskets and container plants:
- Remove the plants from the baskets or pots.
- Chop up the foliage, stems, and roots into small pieces.
- Add the potting soil to the pile.
- Add a layer of “brown” material, such as dead leaves or straw.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the compost pile is full.
- Keep the compost pile moist but not soggy.
- Turn the compost pile every few weeks to aerate it.
With a little bit of effort, you can easily compost your old hanging baskets and container plants and create nutrient-rich compost for your garden.
Here are some other materials that are great for starting a fast-working compost pile:
- Vegetable scraps
- Fruit peels
- Coffee grounds
- Tea leaves
- Grass clippings
- Shredded paper
- Wood ash
Avoid adding meat, dairy, or pet waste to your compost pile. These materials can attract pests and diseases.
With a little bit of planning and effort, you can easily create your own compost pile and help reduce your environmental impact.
- Wild cherry
- Fruit tree leaves
These leaves are all high in nitrogen, which is essential for the composting process. They are also relatively easy to break down.
Oak leaves are also high in nitrogen, but they also contain tannins, which can make the compost acidic. To avoid this, limit the amount of oak leaves you add to your compost pile to 20%.
No matter what type of leaves you add to your compost pile, it is important to shred them first. This will help them to break down more quickly. If you don’t have a shredder, you can simply run them over with your lawnmower a few times.