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Do It Yourself….Organic Composting

| Articles | April 14, 2009

More and more families have made the ecological decision to stop putting their organic refuse in the garbage for

the area landfill but to take the material and create a compost pile in their backyard, next to the house or wherever

there’s room to let organic elements and nature take their course.

Composts take material that one would otherwise throw away and turns it into an extremely beneficial organic

artificial manure that is made by alternately putting layers of organic substances, such as leaves from the lawn,

scraps from the kitchen table, topsoil, lime, and fertilizer (if available), and mixing it with the right amount of

water and plenty of air.

The basis of an organic compost pile is the decomposition of a number of organic materials in such a way as to create a

healthy fertilizer for lawns, pots and the yard. In general, an ordinary compost pile is approximately ten square feet

or more and should be able to be stacked at least 3-5 feet tall. There should be no cover on it; rather, the top should

be flat or have a slight depression in it so that it can catch water when it rains. The ideal organic compost pile

should be neither too wet nor too dry.

How one packs the organic compost pile makes a difference. The pile, in a sense, needs to breathe a little, so it can’t be

packed too tightly. The first layer is ideally grass clippings, leaves or straw and it should be about a foot deep before

being wet down and packed. You can add scraps of food at anytime. Then, spread a layer of manure about four to six inches

deep. Finally, put up to five pounds of ground rock phosphate or a quart of bone material for every hundred square feet,

and a single pound of ground limestone. If you have topsoil, add an inch or so now.

After this is done, your organic compost pile has gone through one cycle and you then repeat the process by adding another

foot or so of organic grass clippings, straw or other plant material.

Don’t put weeds in your compost because the seeds could spread to your garden later. When you’ve got your “green” layer on, pack it and repeat with the other ingredients.

You’ll notice that, after a couple of days, your organic compost pile will begin to heat up from the organic chemical

reactions and microbiological reactions that are taking place. It’s a good idea to keep the organic compost pile moist

but, in many cases, the rainfall may be all it really needs.

When the compost pile is first made, it should not be disturbed so the process can continue without issue.

When the organic compost pile is as old as three to four weeks, you need to take a fork and turn the pile over and over

to mix up the layers so they are uniform. Continue to do this every several weeks and you should expect to be able to

use the compost to fertilize your organic garden in anywhere from two months to a year. You will know it is ready when

everything looks uniform and you don’t see any non-decomposed materials in the pile.

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