Compost Piles: Do-It-Yourself Organic Soil Enhancement

One alternative to chemicals used to revive the nutrients in your soil is organic soil enhancement. This additive is classified by the natural matter from which it is made-animal and plant matter. One way you can avoid the costs of buying such a product at the garden center is to start your very own compost pile. This is natural to the environment and reduces the amount of kitchen waste you throw away each day.

Compost piles are not pretty, so find a good area that is larger enough for your needs, but out of site. Also make sure that this spot is easily accessible and a convenient location in relation to your kitchen. You can begin a compost pile on the ground, but most people choose to build a wooden frame to serve as a barrier. An old sandbox works well for this is you do not have access to wood working equipment; however, you may want something taller to house your scraps.

Begin your compost pile with nothing more than leaves, grass, and healthy soil. In less than 8 months, this can be dug out to retrieve compost. The best mix of compost will be a 50-50 combination of brown matter (healthy soil, dead leaves, etc) and green matter (freshly cut grass, weeds, etc). Your compost pile should be moist, but not wet, and you should turn the compost every day. Once you get the pile started with leaves, grass, and soil, you can start adding kitchen items, such as coffee grounds and eggshells to the pile. Bury the items into the compost and continue to turn it daily.Organic Soil Enhancement

If your pile gets larger than three cubic feet, begin a new pile. This will help the process go faster, and retrieving compost from the bottom of the pile will be easier. Your compost is ready to use in the garden when the components are no longer recognizable and it looks crumbly and brown. The pile should smell earthy, but if the odor is foul, you need to add more brown matter. You should not compost animal waste, sickly plants, or anything chemically treated. By this time next year, you can have a working compost pile to inexpensively provide your garden with organic soil enhancement.

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