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Composting Techniques - Compost Pile / Compost Heap

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A very common composting technique, is to create a "Compost Pile". It is also called a "Compost Heap".

A Compost Pile is a very simple, passive technique. Simply designate a small area of your garden or yard, as a place where you will pile up compostable materials into a heap. Then, let Mother Nature and her friends perform the decomposition process over a long period of time.

Without a doubt, this method of composting, requires the least amount of effort on your part. On the down side, materials take the longest time to decompose of any composting technique. The pile can also attract rodents and animal pests.

A passive compost pile, can take six months to two years, for the materials to completely decompose.

How to Make a Compost Pile.. it's a Cinch!

  • Designate an area for your compost heap.

  • Add materials to the compost pile, as they become available. When grass clippings are available, pile them on. When fall leaves are gathered, add them to the top of the pile.  

  • If you do nothing more than the two steps above, the materials will decompose over a (long) period of time.

  • When the compost pile finally decomposes, take the material for use in your garden projects.

  • Material at the bottom and the center, will finish first. If you need compost, dig out the finished compost, and rake the remainder back into a pile.

How to speed up Decomposition of a Compost Heap:

  • Alternate adding greens and browns.

  • Turn and mix the pile from time to time.

  • Keep the materials moist.

  • Add earthworms or red worms to the pile

Compost Heap Tip: As you pile it on, your compost heap usually takes on the shape of an inverted "V". Rainwater runs right off it, and does not soak and penetrate through the compost materials. As you build the pile, form it into the shape of a volcano, with a crater at the top. This will help to collect rainwater, directing it to the center core of the pile.

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