It will still decompose, although more slowly and more unevenly. Get
yourself a D-handle fork and use it once a month. It will help get
oxygen into the pile and you won't have the stink.
It is best not to add anything, except water if needed.
The best mix is 50% green and 50% brown. So your mix of grass and
leaves will work fine. It is better to add vegetable scraps, coffee
grounds/tea bags, etc. To get your pile to really cook a 1 cubic yard
of material is minimum.
I only added dirt to start the composting process. Dirt adds the
necessary molds, yeasts, and bacteria. A good compost pile might be too
hot in the center for worms. Once the pile is "working", I just leave
some old compost in the pile to "innoculate" new material.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
I think too many people want to fetishize composting.
I like doing it, and I don't mind working at it some,
but I don't figure I need to learn all that much about it.
If you don't like turning the whole pile, and I agree
that can be a lot of work, you should at least get a
fork and mix up the new material and a little bit of
the top layer when you put new stuff in the pile.
That's sufficient to keep leaves and grass from
clumping; when the stuff clumps together, it really
slows down the decomposition. After adding a lot of
new material, sprinkle a couple of shovelsful of soil
over it, and stir that up a little with your fork; lots
of bacteria in soil to help with the decomposition.
Keep the stuff reasonably moist, and that should be all
you need to do.
Not really - you've hit the nail on the head, as they say. Grass and
leaves will EVENTUALLY rot up into humus. However, a compost pile works
best if you have lots of active, hungry redworms, and you regularly go back
and put apple cores, banana peels, etc. on it.
We have found a balance by using a 5 gallon bucket for our compost under
the kitchen sink. 5 gallons is enough so that we don't have to make trips
out to the compost pile more than once every 7 to 10 days. The lid fits
tightly, so we rarely get unpleasant odors indoors.
It may help to have an actual enclosure for your compost. I used some
wood pallets that a business had discarded, 4 to be exact. I then bought a
half gallon of copper napthenate at Lowe's, and proceeded to use an old
paint brush to treat all of the wood against rot and fungus. I let the wood
air out in the sun for a week. Treating the wood allows the pallets to last
for about 10 years instead of just 3 or 4.
Then I turned the pallets on their sides to form a simple box. Next I
used wire to bind them together. You can put some chicken wire on the
inside if you want. Today as a big bonus, we have lots of active redworms,
so I can always get some free fishing bait, too.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 1:56 AM
Subject: Re: Compost Pile Advice
actually, grass and leaves WILL be enough to get a compost pile started
provided there is enough moisture in the pile (grass is green enough), there
is a good quantity of both materials, & things are mixed together. This will
heat the pile up nicely. When things cool down the worms will come. Kitchen
waste is a very good addition to compost piles.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.