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OTHER ITA SITES:
Autumn Is The Best Time For Successful Compost Piles
Early autumn is the best season for successful composting piles. To start, here are some points on how to build a compost pile:
* lay sheets of plastic on the ground.
* place a 6-inch layer of leaves or grass clippings on the plastic.
* shovel a 1-inch layer of beneficial garden loam over the leaves.
* exchange on a regular basis some loam and leaves.
* the pile needs to be at least 3 feet by 3-feet and 4 feet tall.
Here are some ways to accelerate the composting process:
* supply organic material.
* shred leaves into much smaller pieces.
* dampen the dry leaves.
* add ground up limestone to reduce acidity of the oak leaves.
* add fertilizer, like cow manure.
* position the pile in the shade to retain moisture.
* construct the pile with a lower center and high sides to hold moisture.
* try turning the pile monthly, this is not mandatory.
Want a soil enhancing, inexpensive, organic-rich material that's a breeze to produce? Use compost.
It's uncomplicated, we use some simple basics and Mother Nature does most all the work. And remember that when we read ads persuading us to buy this or that composting gadget or ingredient, the ad may be mostly donkey droppings. But, looking on the brighter side, even donkey droppings can be composted.
If expensive ingredients or gadgets aren't basic ingredients of a compost pile, what is? Microbes are, naturally. Composting germs are those miracle workers that recycle organic material into humus. All we need to do to make compost is to keep our microbial buddies content. Insects, worms and centipedes may also be active in the compost process.
Since bacteria are one-celled, much of their biological process takes place in the liquid surrounding them. They release digestive enzymes into this media, then soak up simple molecules as food as they become available in the liquid. Thus, somewhat moist composting conditions are necessary so bacteria can reprocess the organic material in the piles into compost.
But surplus water isn't good. With extremely wet circumstances too little air spreads through the pile.
This causes less efficient, odor producing microbe species to multiply. Fairly warm, up to 150 degree interiors, speeds composting and heat is developed by the composting process.
Autumn is a great time to start a compost pile, as we have plenty of fallen leaves to rake, and these can be our pile's origin. However, grass clippings can be helpful through spring and summer. In addition, any healthy garden materials and even biodegradable vegetable matter from our homes is future compost.
We start building a compost pile by placing sheets of plastic on the ground. These will discourage roots of surrounding trees and shrubs from invading our pile. Yet, if there are no nearby trees and shrubs you may want to cut this step.
We begin the actual pile by placing a 6-inch layer of leaves or grass clippings in the pile. Next, place a 1-inch layer of good garden loam over the leaves. Loam contributes beneficial microbes to our pile, and these microbes are living to do our composting. Blanket this loam with another 6-inch leaf layer, followed by another inch of loam. Continue to alternate leaves and loam. This is all that needs to be done, we'll have compost.
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