There is no better time to start composting than by by creating a spring compost pile.
Not only will it give you amazing compost for your flowers and vegetable plants, it’s also the perfect way to put all of the spring cleaning debris from flowerbeds, gardens and lawns to great use!
When it comes to creating nutrient-rich soil and growing healthy plants, compost is a must. It’s perfect balance of slow-release nutrients helps plants develop healthy roots and foliage.
At the same time, compost also greatly improves soil structure. Which happens to be critical for good drainage, and the ability for plants to easily absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil.
And starting a pile in the spring couldn’t be easier!
Starting A Spring Compost Pile
Whether starting a pile from scratch, or adding to an existing one, springtime is full of composting opportunities.
From clearing out leaves and plant foliage in flowerbeds and gardens, to cutting back perennials or pruning shrubs and trees, there is a near endless supply of available ingredients.
And don’t forget about any hanging basket and container plants that didn’t get emptied last fall. Those old pots and baskets are filled with decaying plant debris and soil, both perfect for helping to start a new compost pile.
Making Compost Fast – Building A Spring Compost Pile Correctly
Although there are a plethora of materials readily available – how you add them, and what you add in with them makes a huge difference in a piles overall success. Including just how fast a pile will heat up, and how quickly your compost will finish.
Here are four key steps you can take to create a great spring compost pile with a strong, active composting process.
4 Big Keys To Composting Success
#1 Chopping Ingredients
First and foremost, the size of the debris you add to the pile matters greatly. The larger the pieces going in, the longer it takes your pile to heat up and decompose.
Whole leaves, and large twigs can take a long time to break down. Chopping these into smaller pieces is a must for creating a hot pile.
A shredder is a great option, but a lawn mower can work well too, especially for shredding plants and leaves. For large branches, simply cut them up into smaller pieces.
#2 Starting Your Pile Off Right With An Activator
When starting a new pile, it is important to introduce microbes and organisms to help speed up decomposition. All piles will eventually develop their own micro-life, but introducing it from the start speeds a pile’s decomposition process up greatly.
This can be done in one of two ways, with existing compost from an old pile, or a compost starter mix.
Finished, or nearly finished compost is teeming with all kinds of living bacteria and life. And when mixed into a new pile, it introduces that life quickly.
Adding in a few gallon buckets of old compost to a new pile and mixing will work wonders for starting your spring compost pile off right.
And what if you don’t have an existing pile to pull from? Then using a compost starter is the best remedy. A compost starter, much like existing compost, introduces bacteria directly into a new pile. Product Link : Jobes Organic Compost Starter
Once you have your first pile completed, you can simply start using compost from old pile from there on out.
This is one of the reasons two system compost bins are a great idea. You can always have a pile finished or finishing, while a new pile is getting underway. All in one space! See : Double Bin Compost Bin Plans
# 3 Maintaining Moisture Level
To work best, a compost pile needs to be slightly moist, but not wet. The best analogy to think of is a well-wrung sponge. You can feel the moisture, but not enough to see any liquid.
If your compost pile is too dry, it won’t be able to heat up. If it’s too wet, it will stop the pile from heating up. Add just enough water to your pile to keep it like a well-wrung sponge.
#4 Adding Oxygen – Turning The Pile
Finally, once you build that spring compost pile, don’t forget about it! A compost pile needs oxygen in addition to moisture to thrive. And the best way to do that is to turn your pile frequently.
Using a pitchfork or shovel, turn your pile’s ingredients at least two times each week. If you can turn it daily, even better! This process allows oxygen to get into the core of the pile.
The more you turn it, the faster and harder your compost pile will work. And as you turn it, be sure to add a bit of water if you see it drying out. You will be rewarded with amazing compost, faster than you ever imagined.
Compost that can be used on plants directly, or as a potent compost fertilizer tea. (See: How To Make Compost Tea)
Here is to getting that spring compost pile started today, and reaping the benefits all year long!
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