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Check Out Our Compost Pile

July 26, 2011

The bumper sticker that says “Compost Happens” is quite accurate. We do not have elaborate composting equipment. And since we are not in a hurry, we do not go to the extra effort of turning our pile. Every day or two we add layers of kitchen scraps, bagged compost, lime, straw, and more bagged compost. Then we water the pile. There is no unpleasant odor to bother our neighbors. These photos show how we build the layers on top of our existing compost pile.

First layer is kitchen scraps. Anything that came from a plant can be used. Banana peels to coffee grounds, filter and all. One of the keys to our pile not smelling is to add this stuff to your pile before it starts to rot, which means every day or two.

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Second layer is compost (contains lots of organisms to break down the organic matter). The compost we are using is Miracle-Gro Garden Soil or Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil.

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Third layer is lime.  (Lime is not necessary to the compost process, however I like adding a little bit when I am using kitchen scraps, plus I know our Georgia soil is acidic.)

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Fourth layer is straw. This helps keep the pile from becoming compacted so there is plenty of air for the organisms. The straw also supplies the needed carbon to help break down the kitchen scraps. Turning the pile is another way of keeping it from becoming compacted and to keep a good supply of oxygen to the organisms.

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Fifth layer is more compost (Miracle-Gro Garden Soil or Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil).

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We water the pile. The inside of the pile should have moisture for the organisms. The moisture level should feel like a damp sponge that has the water squeezed out.

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A couple of days later notice how everything is composting. There is plenty of steam coming off the hot pile as loads of worms and other organisms are doing their thing.

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Notice that we are not using grass clippings in our pile since we leave them on the lawn to provide nutrients back to our grass. We plan on adding our compost to our garden soil this fall. One more thing, If we had a problem with raccoons or other animals digging into the pile, we would probably need to use a compost bin rather than building our pile on the ground.


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  1. Gina permalink

    Ashton, Where can I buy lime?

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