Practical Composting 30 August 2011 Practical Composting
There is too much misleading information written about home gardening composting, which has more to do with selling silly containers than practical composting.

Composting is a simple process. If the garden is any reasonable size there is a fair amount of vegetation that must be removed each year, and disposed of in some manner. It takes a large amount of vegetation to make any reasonable amount of compost. I get probably less then four cubic yards of compost from about 0.4 of an acre of home garden vegetation.

The main process is to chop all vegetation into small chunks. I use a chipper/shredder but a block and a machete can be used. It is just a matter of expenditure of labor. The larger the chunks the longer the composting takes. Layering is nonsense, since often the suggested material is simply not available. It is totally impracticable. I never put materiel, which is attractive to insects, and rodents in the compost pile. The kitchen waste goes in the garbage.

Leaves are special case and I never compost them, since they are too much trouble for the amount of material obtained. Leaves are better centrally composed where the pile can be manipulated using machinery. Grass clippings are always welcome and do compost well. I get a neighbor’s grass clipping, since mine are left where they are cut.

I build as lattice container system using metal fence posts and plastic ties. It is readily accessible. The pile is rototilled when it is considered appropriate. It takes about eight months to get good compost using my simple non-intrusive method. I have a tarp to cover the pile if there is periods of too much rainfall.

The compost produced if insufficient for my needs, and each year I pick up about ten yards from the City each Spring.

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