I have been composting for several years and love the rich black results. Compost is truly black gold. The old addage “Compost Happens” is really true. So, how to compost, I am a lazy gardener and don’t do much with my compost pile other than to put stuff in and prevent critters from getting in too other than the worms. This is one place I even like slugs, because they break down the plant material. However, the process can be speeded up by doing several things.
To make compost, all you need is food, air, water and some TLC. You don’t need to be all that meticulous measuring of the portions of things you put in, and you don’t really need costly “starters”.
All you need is:
. Green stuff – the food scraps, green plant material, coffee grounds (yes it is green), grass clippings. Green stuff provides the water and is nitrogen rich.
. Brown stuff – this is the leaves, straw, dried grass, cardboard or paper. The brown stuff is usually dry and makes air spaces in the compost bin. This is your carbon rich material.
You need to alternate about 3 parts green stuff to about 1 part brown stuff and layer some soil inbetween to provide the bacteria. They go to work breaking all this stuff down into compost.
In order to keep the compost pile working, it is best to turn it once in awhile to get results in the fastest time. I do very little of that and I still get beautiful organic compost. Water should also be periodically added to keep it from drying out. I add material as it is available from my garden or kitchen.
Hopefully, I have enough textured material to maintain sufficient aeration. I don’t have the strength to turn the compost pile, because I am a fairly small woman. I do try to keep textured material going into the pile to maintain enough air and I do add water as needed. If the compost pile starts to smell, this is a sign that there is not enough air getting in. It Would be necessary to turn the pile then.
Being a lazy composter gets results, although they are slower than a well tended pile. The other benefit of tending the compost pile over the lazy method is that the composting is usually hotter and can destroy the weed seeds and disease. Still, compost is compost, and is wonderful for your garden.