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Tips for successful composting


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~ Activate your compost. 'Activators' can be added to your compost to help kick-start the process and speed up composting. Common compost activator materials are: comfrey leaves, grass clippings, young weeds, well-rotted chicken manure.

~ Flying insects attracted to your compost? Small fruit flies, especially, are naturally attracted to the compost pile. They can be discouraged by simply covering any exposed fruit or vegetable matter. Keep a small pile of grass clippings next to your compost bin, and when you add new kitchen waste to the pile, cover it with one or two inches of clippings. Adding lime or calcium will also discourage flies.

~ Unpleasant odors from your compost pile? This can be a concern in urban and suburban areas with small lots and neighbors living close by. Odors can be reduced, or eliminated, by following two practices: first, remember to not put bones or meat scraps into the compost; second, cover new additions to the compost pile with dry grass clippings or similar mulch. Adding lime or calcium will also neutralize odors. If the compost smells like ammonia, add carbon-rich elements such as straw, peat moss or dried leaves

~ Is your compost pile steaming? No problem. A hot, steamy pile means that you have a large community of microscopic critters working away at making compost.

~ Matted leaves, grass clipping clumping together? This is a common problem with materials thrown into the composter. The wet materials stick together and slow the aeration process. There are two simple solutions: either set these materials to the side of the composter and add them gradually with other ingredients, or break them apart with a pitchfork. Grass clippings and leaves should be mixed with rest of the composting materials for best results.

~ Problems with raccoons? If there's a population of raccoons in your area, they will be naturally attracted to your compost pile. The best solution to this problem is to bar their entry to the compost. (Traps and poisons are usually more trouble than they're worth.) A wood or metal lid can be easily hinged to the bin described above on this page, or you can buy a commercially-made compost bin with secure fitted lids which are pest-proof.

~ A moveable feast. The soil beneath a compost bin becomes enriched as nutrients filter down with successive waterings. You can place your bin on a plot of earth which you plan to use for a future vegetable or flower bed, or fruit tree. Each year, you can move the bin to a different area; you'll get a double benefit - the compost from the bin, and a bed of nutrient-rich soil ready for new plantings.

~ Additive only. Compost should be used as a soil additive, and not as the 100% growing medium.


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Comment: Tips for successful composting

Page Posts: 1


Alexander

Miami March 22, 2009
thank you for the tips

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