ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Easy as Compost Pile

Updated on March 6, 2012
A thriving pile
A thriving pile

Selecting a spot

The most important part of starting a compost pile is to pick a suitable location. You will want to choose a spot that is dry so as not to have your pile sitting in a pool of water or gaining excess water. This slows down the process of decomposition and can promote the growth of unhealthy microorganisms in your pile.

You also want to choose some where that is not in direct sunlight for more than a couple of hours a day. If the pile gets too much sun it will dry out too fast which will also slow down the decomposition rate. As with all methods of composting you will need to keep the correct amount of greens and brown in your pile too keep the carbon nitrogen balance even.

Preparing the spot

If your pile is going to be in the same place for a long time then you don’t have to worry about doing much to prepare the spot. Just throw down a base layer of a couple of inches of dirt, hay or leaves and you’re on your way. Many people like to build a couple of walls around their pile so as to deter animals and keep it contained but it’s not a necessity. If you wish to do this then I would recommend going to your nearest large grocery store and getting some used pallets, they work great and are usually the perfect size.

Also, if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, I would recommend getting something that you can use as a lid for your pile. A tarp works great for this as you don’t want your pile to turn into a pile of mud and food scraps. That is sure to attract animals and other unwanted things.

If your pile is not going to be in the same place for long (less than a year or two) you might want to consider putting a tarp or something removable down on the bottom for easier clean up when your done. You might also consider bin composting as an alternative.

What to add to the pile

This is the easy part; you can add pretty much any organic matter to your pile that you want. Coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, yard waste, grass clippings, manure, wood chips, leaf litter…the possibilities are endless. Check out my other articles about composting to get a list of what to add and what each thing is good for.

I have talked to many people about what they like to add to their piles and some of the more controversial organics include eggshells and manure. Some people don’t like to add eggshells because they think that they take too long to decompose but I always throw my eggshells in the pile and have had no bad results at all. When it comes to manure, just make sure not to throw your house pet’s waste or your own waste in the pile. Horse and cow manure is acceptable but if you put anything else in, you are promoting the growth of unhealthy microorganism and run the risk of contaminating the pile and your garden when you use the compost. There is a whole separate process for what is known as humanure you can read about here.

Creating Black Gold: more complicated than you need to get but good information

Maintaining the pile

You wont have to do much to maintain your pile. Just make sure to turn it about once a week in order to mix up the soil and to get oxygen and other nutrients to all parts of the pile. The composting process can take anywhere from two months to two years but it will go much faster if you routinely aerate. If the pile begins to look a little dry, add some water.

You will know that your pile is done composting when the dirt turns a deep rich black/brown and smells like fresh earth. At this point its all up to you what you use it for. Spread in on your garden, put it into pots to grow in your house, you could even bag it up and give it away to neighbors if you want. Its all up to you.

For those of you that don't garden a lot and have no use for compost or simply think that compost is overrated and will only attract unwanted pests and bacteria, watch this video. This is one of the more amazing things I have ever seen, I never would have thought of using compost for this but thats what the internet is for; sharing great ideas!

The power of compost

IMPORTANT

Remember, composting takes place in nature in many, many different forms so nothings is "right". As long as you have the basic elements: organic matter, microorganisms and the correct nutrient balance, you will make compost so feel free to experiment and see what works best for you area!!!!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • snlee profile image

      snlee 

      6 years ago from Asia Pacific Regions

      You are doing a very good job. We need to save Mother Earth in order to save ourselves environment disaster.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 

      6 years ago from Tennessee

      Welcome to HubPages. You are well on your way. Most interesting and enjoyable read and the videos are great also. Voted up, useful and interesting...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)