Compost piles come in handy when gardeners want to make the most of their vegetation.
Here are some easy “dos” and “don’ts.”
- Do dig a shallow hole about 4x4x2 feet. Surround with cinder blocks or chicken wire, or use a compost bin. Layer with leaves, branches, and twigs, then with grass and plant clippings. Water and mix so it’s moist but not soaked.
- Don’t include diseased foliage, as it can kill plants on which the fertilizer later is used.
- Do toss in vegetable food waste but not animal by-products which can attract pests.
- Don’t add weeds. If seeds don’t break down, they will be planted again next year.
- Do chop up large branches and evergreen boughs so they can break down faster.
- Don’t forget it. Keep compost moist and mix with a pitchfork every week as weather allows. Check its temperature with your hand or a compost thermometer. It should be warm (100 degrees). If not, add greens.