Plain Old Heap Compost

Slow composting is an easy way to turn yard wastes into a great soil amendment. For folks who have lots of land or have an area which is hidden from the neighbors, this will work. This is the best method for people who don't have time to tend a hot compost pile. Simply mix yard wastes into a pile and let them sit for a year or so. It is important to build the pile so that there will be enough air circulation that it won't get anaerobic and stinky. Microorganisms, insects, earthworms, and other decomposers will slowly break down the wastes. A mixture of energy materials (nitrogen-grass & "greens") and bulking agents (carbon-straw, wood chips & "browns") provides the best food source for decomposition. Add fresh wastes to the pile by opening pile, placing fresh wastes into the center, and covering. This helps aerate the pile and also buries fresh wastes so they do not attract pests. The pile above has added aeration because it is built on a plastic pipe with holes for air. Slow composting does not produce heat needed to kill many weed seeds. So, pull and compost weeds before they go to seed. If you put seeds in the compost pile, be prepared for more weeding! Thus, you don't need a bin to compost. You can just build your pile on the ground! However, bins are useful for keeping your pile looking neat, retaining heat and moisture, and avoiding effects of wind and weather.

 

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