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Ask if they use "biosolids" in the product, and if they do, make sure to tell them you're not going to buy it because of that fact.

If your compost clears the biosolids test, you still want to press further to know what it's made of. If you are purchasing a load of compost from a local composting center, ask the employees what goes into the compost, and what the pile is treated with, if anything.

Organic Composting 101 – Making Compost Better

Most compost centers will have a separate area provided for the community to drop their yard waste, which is generally the start of the available compost. Often, the employees will be happy to show you their starter piles, and the more decomposed piles. Smith adds that some potent herbicides, like Clopyralid used on lawn and grain crops don't break down even during the composting process, and can destroy virtually everything in your garden if introduced. There's a cheap and easy test to determine if your compost harbors harmful herbicides or at the very least, a bad PH. Try starting a few lettuce seeds in the compost.

If germination is poor or nonexistent, herbicides could be present or the pH of the soil could be way off. In either case, you don't want to use this type of compost.

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Choose compost that has a loose texture, is dark brown or black, and has an earthy or musty smell no ammonia or sewer odor. Of course, you could also learn to these 5 ways to compost without a backyard. Learn some compost lingo, and you'll be talking like a composting-turning-pro in no time. Type keyword s to search. Wet or tender materials, like kitchen scraps, manure, and grass clippings are considered nitrogen-rich.

Most gardeners find that nitrogen is easier to supply, and have to think carefully, or do some sourcing, to find proper carbon-rich additions.

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The most basic compost pile includes leaves, grass clippings, soil, and some water. Layering these materials, ensuring they remain evenly moist, and turning the pile with a pitchfork every few days will produce usable compost fairly quickly. Below are some common compost materials that you can play with to master your C:N ratio:. Considerations Choose an out-of-the-way site for your compost pile, not too close to a creek or stream compost leachate, the moisture that leaks out of your pile, can be ammonia rich, and if it runs into waterways, it will overload aquatic ecosystems You can build an enclosure for your pile out of old wooden palettes, chicken wire, or other materials.

Home Composting |

This will contain the pile, and keep hungry raccoons dogs, or other compost thieves out of your compost. Seaweed can help activate your pile. Spray treatments or additions of actual seaweed are ways to incorporate it into your compost. Be sure to include both shredded and whole materials in your pile, to promote aeration for the critters. Turning can happen every couple days to every several weeks depending on your schedule. Your compost is done when all materials are uniformly dark and crumbly, and it smells earthy and fresh.

Spread your compost using a pitchfork or rake, or your hands!

How to Make Compost for the Garden

Vermicompost or worm compost is worm castings, and it is amazing for your garden! Vermicompost is teeming with soil critters and is packed with essential nutrients that plants love. You can create your own worm compost very easily. Simply place your bin in an out of the way, yet easy to get to, place and begin using. The second type of compost bin is made with a fifty-five gallon barrel.

Using a drill, space holes around the perimeter, starting at the bottom of the barrel and work upward for approximately 18 inches. This method will allow your garden compost pile to breathe. The third type of homemade compost bins is made with used wooden pallets.

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These pallets can be acquired from local businesses for very little money or even for free. You will need 12 pallets for a complete working bin. You also will need more room for this type of bin, as it is actually three bins in one. You will need a number of screws and minimally six hinges and three hook and eye closures.

You begin by attaching three of the pallets together into a square form leaving the front pallet for later. You should now have three formed bins.

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Attach to each opening one more pallet using two hinges and attaching a hook and eye so the door of the squares open and close securely. Begin using this system by filling the first bin. When it becomes full, open the door and shovel the cooking compost into the second bin. Repeat when full again, shoveling the second into the third and so on. This type of bin process is the quickest way to make good compost as you are regularly turning the matter and, thus, hastening the cooking time. Making and using compost in your garden is easy.

No matter which compost bin plans you choose, the basic operation is the same.