Composting may seem like alot of work and very complicated but as long as you keep a few things in mind it's well worth it and no you don't need to buy one of those expensive compost containers either. There are so many things people just throw away that are extremely beneficial to our soil. If it's organic you can compost it. Never throw anything away if it's organic. The compost will be more beneficial to your soil than fertilizer. I compost apple peelings, banana peels, egg shells-they have a good source of calcium, coffee grounds, you name it. however plants and produce from your own garden should go in the garbage in order not to spread disease and of course stay away from weeds. Keep this in mind if you put grass clippings in the pile. You can bring in weed seeds if you mow when the grass is tall. Don't put in grass clippings either if you treat your yard with a herbicide. Ideally you'd like to have three compost piles. One year you'd make one pile and leave it alone, the second year you make another pile and leave both piles alone and the third year you make another pile. By that third year your first pile you made will be useable. Then just cycle thru your piles every year and use that one that's sat for two years. Compost piles ideally should be about 4 feet by 4 feet. Some things take longer to decompose than others like wood so make sure it's in very small pieces like shavings. In fact whatever it is if it's chopped up it will decompose quicker. Also turning or mixing the pile frequently with a pitch fork will help decomposition. You can also throw in some nitrogen to speed up the rotting process. Also put on lime. put lime on because some of the kitchen scraps and leaves and pine needles are pretty acidic. put some on every so often about 8-10 inches. do this with leaves too and the lime breaks up the wax and actually breaks down the leaves quicker. Again just put on a thin layer of powdered lime again every eight inches or so.
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