Thinking of beginning composting? It’s pretty simple. You really only need to know three things.
1) Your greens and browns. To have compost, you must start with the greens and browns. Greens are materials that are high in nitrogen, like grass clippings. Browns are things that are high in carbon, like dead leaves. You’ll need a ratio of about 3 parts carbon materials to 1 part nitrogen materials.
You don’t need to go crazy measuring things either. If you have too much nitrogen in your compost, your pile will stink and you can add carbon. If you have too much carbon in that compost pile, it won’t heat up and you can add nitrogen.
2) Oxygen. Compost needs oxygen. Even the middle of your pile needs oxygen. You can accomplish this in one of several ways. You can utilize a compost tumbler that allows you to easily turn the compost. You can drill holes in a PVC pipe and keep it in the middle of your pile to allow for air flow. You can get out there on the weekends and use a shovel and turn your compost. My favorite tool is this Yard Butler CA-36 Compost Aerator. This is what I use to stir up my piles.
3) Moisture. Your pile needs to be as moist as a wrung out sponge. If it is too wet, or too dry it will slow down your progess. We don’t want to slow our process..right?
So you’ve put together your greens, your browns, and you have a plan for keeping air circulation going and moisture. What now? Stay tuned. We’ll go over that next.