Knowing When Compost is Finished

Commercial composting operations have a fairly precise definition of what constitutes finished compost. When ready to use, the compost has a carbon-nitrogen ratio of approximately 15 to l, has undergone a volume reduction of about 50 percent, and shows a weight reduction of about 50 percent. For homeowners, the decision to start using the compost […]
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Building a Compost Pile

Some books about composting give the impression that compost piles must be built according to a particular recipe. They suggest that a pile must be arranged in precise layers of specific materials for decomposition to proceed effectively. This impression is misleading. No single formula provides effective decomposition. Assorted ingredients and varying amounts of intervention on […]
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About Making Compost

Describing how to make compost is like trying to describe how to make soup. There are almost as many recipes as there are cooks. Similarly, it’s possible to make good compost by using many different methods. The secret to successful composting is to choose the basic approach and the techniques that suit your needs and […]
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Wire Cylinder Compost Bins

Fencing or wire mesh makes a fine compost bin, as long as the holes are small enough to hold in the raw materials. A circular bin is usually the most attractive, sturdiest, and easiest to install. A wire cylinder also makes a practical holding bin for raw materials you’re collecting for the compost pile. Snow […]
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Pole Compost Bins

Pole compost bins are constructed like a log cabin, with poles just laid on one another. The poles can be of any diameter and any size that you can handle easily. Bamboo, small logs, or straight branches all work well. This bin has the advantage that you can build it as you fill it, so […]
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Pallet Compost Bins

Resourceful home composters long ago discovered the usefulness of the shipping pallet in composting. They found that building a compost pile on top of a pallet is an effective way to aerate the pile. Fastened together, pallets also make a serviceable compost bin or storage bin. Made from wood slats nailed to a reinforcing frame, […]
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Home-Made Compost Bins

Constructing your own bin offers many advantages over buying a bin. You can save money, especially if you use scrap materials. You can make the bin any shape, and it can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Most important, making your own bin allows you to compost large amounts of material at […]
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About Compost Bins

Most home composters are prepared to do a little more than simply throw yard waste into a pile in the back corner of the yard. At the very least, they usually want to enclose the pile. Compost bins or enclosures vary widely in size, design, and type of material. If you take the passives approachs […]
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Recycling in the Garden

Roughly one third of all waste dumped in overburdened landfills across the United States consists of garden clippings and kitchen waste—just the type of organic material most easily eliminated from the trash stream. By following the lead of the recycling movement, individual homeowners can reduce, reuse, and recycle this material instead of throwing it away. […]
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Benefits of Compost

Inexpensive to produce and easy to use, backyard compost serves primarily as a soil conditioner, whether it’s spread in a layer on the soil surface or is dug in. A garden soil regularly amended with compost is better able to hold air and water, drains more efficiently, and contains a nutrient reserve that plants can […]
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