Composting is a process that involves the decomposition of organic materials for the use of
fertilization and enrichment of soil. The first step to creating your own compost pile is to be
adamant in collecting that organic material to start your pile. Many experienced composters use
compost bins. This is simply an open container kept outside that holds all of the organic waste.
This container allows the pile to have the proper level of exposure to oxygen, which is vital to
the process. Some are successful in their composting by simply leaving a pile on the ground
outdoors, but the most success is found using a confined area or container like a compost bin.
Surprisingly, to decrease the level of unpleasant odors emitted, the use of worms or
vermicomposting is a good solution when composting in confined areas or in indoor
Maintenance for Compost?
Contrary to what some may believe about composting, a compost pile does require some regular
maintenance. It is important to routinely rotate, or mix, the contents of the pile to maintain even
oxygen exposure throughout the pile. Some compost bins have rotating features that will
automatically do this for you every one to two days, which produces optimal results, keeping
everything properly mixed with proper exposure levels. Keeping just the right level of moisture
is also essential to the success of your pile. Compost piles should be moist but never wet to the
point of dripping. Many composters simply spray their piles with a spray bottle or very lightly
with a hose as needed. In the case of too much moisture, brown materials can help reduce the
moisture level back to a proper amount.
How You Know It’s Ready
Depending on the conditions in which you build your pile, composting may take anywhere from
2-3 weeks to 2-3 months. The sign of completion is when you find that the temperature of your
pile is equal to the temperature of the surrounding ambient air. The texture of the contents should
almost uniformly crumble in your hand and be a dark, rich color of dirt. Original pile ingredients
should be unrecognizable without any mold, ammonia-like or rotten smells.
Compost piles are a great way to make your garden environmentally friendly while also
supplying your soil with the correct nutrients. Consult a Kansas City lawn care company to help
you develop your own!