Secrets to Success

4 Steps to Compost Success

4 Steps to Compost Success

Composting is both an art and a science, but don't let the science scare you! Composting can be simplified to the following key steps:

1.Layer upon layer of "stuff." A compost pile is like a sandwich-every layer has a purpose, but the layers work best together. Why layers? Because, together, the layers create insulation (more about generated heat below) and a balance of carbon and nitrogen (ratio of 30:1 by weight)-the two elements needed to feed microorganisms that will run around your compost pile decomposing every bit.

The first layer in your compost pile should be about 6 inches of dry, carbon-rich, brown materials (see below), followed by a 6-inch layer of green, nitrogen rich materials (see below). Because this hodgepodge isn't compact, air can circulate between all the materials. Then, add a 2-inch layer of manure or already decomposed compost, and finish with topsoil. Repeat the layers, adding water to the dry layers until you have a 4-foot tall pile.

Brown Material (Carbon Rich)
Paper products: newspaper, cardboard, shredded paper
Straw (avoid hay as it adds weedy seed heads)

Green Material (Nitrogen Rich)
Coffee Grounds
Vegetable Scraps
Grass Clippings
Non-woody plant cuttings

2.Temperature and moisture...check! While the layers are decomposing, the bacteria and microorganisms heat things up-literally. But that's good because heat means that the microorganisms are doing their job of breaking down material. Purchase a compost thermometer from your local garden center or just hold your hand over the top of the pile to feel the heat radiating. If it feels cool (under 50

You Might Enjoy…

Garden Stakes 12/pack

Inspired solutions for gardening success™

12". Each stake includes a space for noting the variety name and date planted. Our…


Recycled Paper Pots 3 inch (6-pack)

Inspired solutions for gardening success™

Six 3" x 3" x 3" pots. Garden green!

Botanical Interests Recycled Paper Pots are an…


Gloves - Sun Grip - Medium

Inspired solutions for gardening success™

These are Judy's favorite gardening gloves when working with seedlings.

The perfect summer…

More to Enjoy