WHEN IS IT DONE?
Finished compost is a dark brown, uniform, crumbly product with a pleasant, earthy aroma. There may be a few woody pieces that aren’t completely composted-just toss them back into your new pile or use them as mulch.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Place your compost pile in a convenient place-close to a water source. Don’t put piles under the eaves of your house-when it rains, you’ll drown your pile.
Take care with fresh grass clippings. Add them in thin layers, or mix them with brown material when adding to the pile. Try drying them before adding.
FEAST AND FAMINE?
In the fall, homeowners may have a lot of leaves (browns), but little green material. And in the summer, there is a lot of grass, but few brown materials. Many people start a pile for just leaves in the fall. They will start to decompose-but slowly. Then in the spring and summer months, the partly composted leaves are gradually mixed in with the grass clippings.
You can also find materials at your neighbors to add to your pile.
CHOPPING AND CHIPPING
The composting process accelerates if you shred, chop, or chip materials-especially woody items, before adding to the pile.
USES OF COMPOST
Compost can be used as a soil conditioner when dug into the soil in flower beds or vegetable gardens. It can also be used as a mulch on top of the soil.