How to Make Compost the Right Way
Some people throw ALL kitchen scraps into the compost. This is not the best practice, as they don’t necessarily add any benefit, and definitely will not yield a “black gold” compost. Meat, oils (included oily salad greens or other oil covered vegetables), animal waste, animal fur, to name a few. You don’t want to be attracting unwanted pests to the compost pile (rats, crows, skunks, etc).
How to Make a Great Compost
- Add nitrogen rich greens and fruit (preferably organic). Make sure you thoroughly crush egg shells, corn cobs and other large pieces.
- Add carbon rich (brown) items to your compost as well. You want a healthy balance of brown and green items. Use straw, chopped up fall leaves, etc. *tip: if your brown items are too big, run over them with a lawn mower to break it up.
- Covering your compost pile also speeds things along. If it is too dry or too wet, it slows it down. Make a homemade compost bin by covering the pile with a tarp or lid will prevent this. Or just use a compost tumbler if you can afford it.
- Keep the compost at a 1:3 ratio (1 part green to 3 parts brown). You could purchase a starter formula with microorganisms that aid in the composting process, but it is not required. It all depends on your budget.
- Make sure there is plenty of oxygen. Poke holes in the pile or stir it up every once in awhile with a stick. The layers don’t have to be perfect, more a general guideline.
- Store your compost in the sun, as warm is good for the breakdown process.
Layering IS important!
Poorly layered compost piles yield “black gold” compost very slowly and has an ugly smell that resembles ammonia. You also want the pile to resemble the dampness of a sponge. If it becomes too dry, poke holes and sprinkle water. If it is too wet, make sure to cover it. This creates a multi purpose compost that is cheap and effective.
Ok, I messed up my compost pile. Now what?
Your only real option is to start over or break out the rubber gloves and dig out the offending items.