What Is Compost?
Compost is garden soil made out of things that used to be alive. Plants love it. What is the easiest way to start a compost pile? Designate a space in your yard to be the compost pile, about three feet wide. Then add weeds, straw, leaves, dirt, water, and kitchen scraps. That is all you have to do. If animals get into your compost, enclose it in a cylinder of stiff wire mesh fence.
What Goes Into a Compost Pile?
Other good ingredients for compost include: seaweed, earthworms (night crawlers or red worms), unbleached paper products (such as brown paper bags), and wood shavings.
What Do You Do With Compost?
The compost is ready to use when it has turned into rich soil, and you cannot recognize individual ingredients anymore. In three months, start a new pile. Give your original pile two more months to decompose. The amount of compost will be much less than what you put into it; it will have broken down. Mix it deeply into your garden soil, or just spread it on top. You will be contributing to the Earth's topsoil.
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Compost makes great potting soil.
Ooops! Wait. Update: I have been using compost as potting soil for many years, no problem. This year my pots of lemon cucumber came up mostly pumpkins. Big fail. I do not want pumpkins. Next year I will still use compost for potting soil, but I am going to edit my compost as I make it. I will put any expired pumpkins or squashes into a separate compost pile. Questions?
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