Compost Is Not A Dirty Word

From Carol Stein’s Gardeners Forum
Special Vermiculture (Worm Farming) info from Jack Holland, Carol’s Dad

Requirements for Compost Bins or Piles

AERATION – Microbes need oxygen. Mix compost piles once or twice a month to aerate. A well-mixed pile reaches 150 degrees F at the core, helping to destroy weed seeds and pathogens.

MOISTURE – Water compost periodically to keep damp.

FERTILIZER – Microbes require nitrogen. Leaves decompose faster when mixed with grass clippings (higher in nitrogen). Poultry litter, manure, or blood meal are organic sources of nitrogen.

LIME – Not necessary for decomposition of most yard wastes in an aerated compost pile. If large quantities of pine needles, pine bark or vegetable and fruit waste are composted, additional lime reduces acidity.

PARTICLE SIZE – Smaller particles mean quicker decomposition. Shred large batches of leaves by running the lawn mower over them (here’s where a bagger attachment comes in handy).

LOCATION – Place piles or bins near the place the compost will be used. Do not locate near a well or on a slope that drains to surface water. Keep a good distance from tree roots. Protect from drying winds and provide partial sunlight.

Materials to Compost

From the Yard & Garden
Grass clippings
Nonwoody plant parts
Ground up branches/twigs

From the Kitchen
Vegetable scraps
Coffee grounds
Eggshells (no whole eggs)
Non-citrus fruit scraps

Wood ashes
Crushed clam or oyster shell
Bone meal
B&W Newspaper (abt. 10% of volume)
Livestock manure (horse, rabbit, poultry, cow)

Materials to Avoid

Meat & Bones
Whole eggs
Dairy products
Citrus fruit rinds
Weeds or grass with a lot of seeds
Corn cobs, stalks and/or husks
Palm fronds
Hard nut shells
Coal ashes
Plant material treated with herbicides

Easy Composter:

30 to 40-gallon plastic yard waste bag.

Fill with alternating layers of plant waste, kitchen scraps, fertilizer and lime.

Per Bag:

1 Tablespoon 10-10-10 fertilizer

1 Cup lime

After the bag is full, add 1 quart of water and close tightly.

Set aside for 6 to 12 months.

Because oxygen is limited, the rate of decomposition is slower than aerated bins.

See Vermiculture (Worm Farming)

for another way to compost, inside or outside!