Article Categories
» Arts & Entertainment
» Automotive
» Business
» Careers & Jobs
» Education & Reference
» Finance
» Food & Drink
» Health & Fitness
» Home & Family
» Internet & Online Businesses
» Miscellaneous
» Self Improvement
» Shopping
» Society & News
» Sports & Recreation
» Technology
» Travel & Leisure
» Writing & Speaking

  Listed Article

  Category: Articles » Home & Family » Gardening » Article

Let's Speed Up That Compost Pile

By James Ellison

Compost piles must hold a minimum of organic material before they will maintain rapid decomposition. So the pile should be at least 3-feet-by-3-feet and 4-feet tall. Naturally piles can be larger. Moving leaves to the pile, then chopping them up with a lawn mower or leaf shredder before they go on the pile aids composting considerably, as small particles decompose faster than large ones.

There are other things we can do to accelerate composting and make it more efficient. As slightly wet leaves decompose quicker than dry ones and rain may not penetrate the pile center, I'd dampen dry leaves before adding them. Ground limestone may also be scattered in if we add a bunch of oak leaves and we're concerned about the acidity they may generate in our pile. Scatter about a pound of lime for every five leaf layers. But do not use lime if your compost will be given to acid loving plants such as mountain laurel, blueberries, azaleas, rhododendrons and potatoes. Adding lime to compost is an option rather than mandatory.

The addition of fertilizers speeds composting. Scatter 1 cup of fertilizer for every 15 square feet of pile. Two pounds of dried cow manure can be the fertilizer. The addition of fertilizer is not a necessity.

Shady piles seem to compost faster than sunny ones, as they more promptly retain the moisture microbes need. Drenching a dry pile with water can be helpful in hot weather. Construct your pile lower in the center and higher on the sides, that way rain will go in more easily. Covering the pile with plastic sheets to reduce evaporation can help in conserving that most important water supply. Turning the pile every month with a garden fork or similar tool aerates our microbes and speeds composting.

Garden waste material and vegetable scraps make great compost additions, but don't place meat, bones, glass, plastic or metal in the pile. Keep material loaded with weed seeds, plant disease or insects out of the pile. Never put in material that's been treated with herbicide. Straw or hay can be added, but seeds in the hay may not decompose, sometimes causing weed troubles. Pine needles may be added, but because of their waxy coatings, they may take longer to break down. If you add twigs make sure they are small and broken, or they will take forever to break down. If you add newspaper they need to be shredded into tiny strips. Choose an inconspicuous site for the pile. While piles aren't ugly, they are seldom beautiful.

Compost has so many garden uses that I never get enough of this terrific stuff. I blend compost into every planting hole, whether I'm planting a dogwood tree, petunia beds, tomatoes or anything else.
About the Author
Jim's articles are from extensive research on each of his topics. You can learn more of organic materials by visiting:

Article Source:
If you wish to add the above article to your website or newsletters then please include the "Article Source:" as shown above and make it hyperlinked.

  Some other articles by James Ellison
Four Main Factors Causing High Cholesterol
Besides diet, other causes of high cholesterol are lifestyle, gender and the heritage of the individual. For some, even maintaining cholesterol at the right levels and being fit and thin will still not prevent ...

Low-Carb Diet, Should I or Shouldn't I?
It's no wonder that confusion reigns when it comes to the worth and reliability of low-carb diets after all the conflicting studies and confusing interpretation of the information. It seems like debates are popping ...

Mistakes When Planting or Transplanting
We can plant too early. Remember those beautiful warm March or April days when we are tempted to go out and start our gardens? Why not, the stores already have the plants for us to transplant ...

Mulch is Mother Natures Blanket
One of the most important part of gardening is mulching. It keeps down weeds by blocking the light that allows weeds to germinate. Mulch will slow down the evaporation of moisture from the soil, which also will ...

What Snacks and Meals A Low Carb Dieter Can Eat
It ought to be no eye opener that consuming whole foods is the most beneficial way to go if you are looking for ...

Soil Plus Compost Equals Lush Healthy Plants
You find that your plants are giving you fits in your landscape because it seems like a parade of weeds, insects or diseases have invaded and taken over. The problem is probably not due to ...

  Recent Articles
What Should You Build Backyard Ponds and Waterfalls
by Christopher Smith

Eliminate Frustration With These Surefire Bamboo Planting Tips!
by Dean Caporella

Why Woodcutters Give Echo Chainsaws Their Vote Of Approval!
by Dean Caporella

7 Stunning Ideas For Your Backyard Waterfalls
by Christopher Smith

Hot Tub Safety
by Simon Dickson

Gettin Hooked on Gardening
by Tom Henricks

3 Quick Tips for Creating a Garden Hideaway
by The House Team

Timber Framed Outbuildings
by Aggtimber

Garden Summerhouses And Offices
by Aggtimber

Bespoke Dog Kennel
by Aggtimber

Children Wooden Playhouses
by Aggtimber

How To Enjoy A Tranquil Getaway - Without Leaving Home
by Christopher Smith