Compost is decomposed organic material, which can be used as a fertilizer and soil amendment.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

30
votes
5answers
5k views

How often do you need to turn the compost heap?

If you have a compost heap, how often should you turn it? Does it make a difference if it's a simple heap (a mound on the ground) or in a tumbler? Alternately, is it even necessary to turn the heap?
26
votes
7answers
1k views

How should I speed up the decomposition of sickly sweet smelling giant compost heap?

I have created a monster of a compost heap on my property (3 meters, by 2 meters, by almost 2 meters tall) next to an old granite rock wall. Anyway, I mostly put all my grass clippings (primary ...
16
votes
1answer
354 views

How can I keep my compost wet?

During summer my compost bin dries out considerably and slows down. We have hot dry summers. What should I do to keep the compost moist? Should I add water or will this rinse nutrients away?
12
votes
2answers
497 views

Composting Bins - DIY vs Bought

I want to start composting. I live in a house of 2, and a fairly large garden, in Australia, and I am renting (therefore do not want to spend a lot of money on something that I can't take with me). ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the best way to increase the carbon content of compost heap in a grassy garden?

I've a small compost heap (1.2m x 1.2m x 0.8m), which is mostly formed of grass clippings. Thanks to this answer to another composting question, I now understand the C:N ratio. Unfortunately, there ...
5
votes
2answers
692 views

What time of year to mulch/feed trees?

This answer recommends putting down a layer of compost mulch in the fall in order to slowly feed the tree. (In addition to the unmentioned weed control and moisture regulation.) It makes sense to me ...
31
votes
3answers
3k views

How hot can my compost get?

I went to stir my compost pile the other day, and to my surprise, when I dug into the center of the pile, I found that it was hot. As in, really hot. Once I removed the top layer steam was literally ...
20
votes
4answers
614 views

What is “Compost Tea” good for?

I have read that you can get a tumbler type of composter and collect the "juices" from the composter. This is referred to as "compost tea". Does anyone know what the real usage of this is? Some ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Should I add water to my compost heap?

I have a 1m x 1m x 0.6m compost heap. I was turning the heap yesterday and was surprised to find that most of the heap hadn't really decomposed, and was in fact quite dry. Should I be regularly ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

My composter has developed a sour smell and a lot of bugs. What am I doing wrong?

I set up a 7 cu ft rolling composter in my garden about 3 weeks ago and filled it about halfway with 1/3 food scraps and 2/3 cardboard/leaves/finished compost. My kids added more food scraps, so it's ...
11
votes
2answers
564 views

Can kitchen waste be used as manure?

Can kitchen wastes (like potato peels, onion skins, orange rinds, egg shells, tea inside tea bags etc) be used as manure? If so, how to use them?  Right now, I'm just dumping them in soil, which I ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What procedure should I follow to compost bones, fat, and rotten cooked food?

I have read that composting things like bones and fat should be avoided as it can get smelly and attract pests. However, I expect that there are a lot of nutrients that I am wasting if I threw these ...
4
votes
4answers
363 views

Is it safe to add compostable plastics to my compost pile?

A couple stores I frequent now use, or are starting to use, plastic bags and cups that say they're compostable. Are these safe to add to my compost pile or are they just more environmentally friendly ...
61
votes
2answers
3k views

Can weeds be put into compost, or will they grow again when the compost is used?

I usually discard weeds but it occurred to me that they would probably be good for compost. Are there any steps I can take to use them in compost without having them grow again when I use the ...
28
votes
2answers
531 views

Does unused compost keep on getting better and better?

We have a compost bin to which I've been adding kitchen scraps (and some garden waste) over several years. I have never used the resulting compost (mainly because I have a ready supply of horse manure ...
17
votes
1answer
5k views

How long does it take for the compost to ripen?

I’ve got a compost bin (a big plastic box with air holes) that’s used by two or three families. We have been putting kitchen scraps and stuff into the composter for about a year now (mostly ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I keep red wiggler worms alive overwinter in the Northeastern USA?

I'm going to be moving into my first house soon in Westchester County, NY. I've done a lot of container and patio/balcony gardening and am looking forward to having a real backyard garden. I want to ...
11
votes
3answers
402 views

What are good sources for large quantities of “greens” for my compost?

I have a compost pile that has a lot of "browns" in it, dead leaves and wood shavings mostly. Can anyone recommend sources for large quantities of "greens"? I've been putting in my kitchen scraps but ...
11
votes
2answers
736 views

What is the difference between compost tea, manure tea, compost leachate and herbal tea?

We have seen several questions recently about compost tea. We have also seen questions about manure tea and at least one question that referred to compost leachate as "compost tea." What are the ...
11
votes
1answer
445 views

How do I compost lots of grass clippings?

I find that grass clippings tend not to compost well on their own, however we have lots of grass clippings to compost – so what do we do?
10
votes
4answers
8k views

Can I put coffee filters into my compost?

I've heard that coffee grounds are a good "green"(nitrogen rich) to put in your compost, but I was wondering if I could throw the filter in there as well? They are the standard "accordion side" white ...
17
votes
3answers
292 views

Should I insulate my compost heap?

I understand that compost heaps have an ideal temperature for the bacteria to decompose the material into compost. Living in the changeable Great Britain, the weather can be windy, rainy, sunny and ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What actually occurs for manure to become considered “well-rotted”?

I know that you shouldn't use raw manure on plants because it's bad for them, but I don't understand why. I know you should stack manure before using it (i.e. literally stack it into a big cone), and ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Is there an easier way to aerate my compost besides turning it?

I want to be a good composter, but turning my pile is backbreaking work. I was looking through a gardening magazine today and I saw a contraption that was basically a three foot long pole that had ...
10
votes
3answers
413 views

Can these non-food items be composted?

I've seen discussions here and elsewhere, about composting news paper, cardboard, etc. But I'm wondering what considerations to consider when composting some specific non-food items. Some of the ...
9
votes
1answer
776 views

How much coffee grounds should I add to my compost (and how frequently)?

I have been reading that spent coffee grounds can be used for fertilizer and/or composting and also came across this question on this site. I have a compost pile in the yard that holds roughly two 33 ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Is spent cat litter an appropriate source of nitrogen for compost?

Is spent cat litter an appropriate source of nitrogen for compost? The cat litter used is made of recycled paper pellets so is rich in carbon. It doesn't contain the cat faeces because that is ...
7
votes
2answers
383 views

Compost has larva or maggots?

Inside of my compost which is only like five gallons I see hundreds of maggots or larvae. Is there a way I can dissect them and tell which species they are? I see some reports online that Black ...
5
votes
3answers
112 views

Is there anything I should avoid putting in compost that I am going to use for blueberries?

Is there anything I should avoid (or encourage) adding to compost that I am going to make to grow blueberries?
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Does a pine needle mulch make your soil acidic?

This article from Colorado State University states that alkaline soils resist change but several years of heavy pine needle applications would create a somewhat more acid soil. This article ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

How do I deal with 'compostable' bags? [duplicate]

I let my neighbors dump their vegetable trimmings in my compost pile, and it's worked well for many years. I don't tend to actively maintain my compost pile and only turn it once a year. (screen the ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the easiest way to get started with Bokashi (japanese “fermenting” composting)?

Someone suggested Bokash composting of non meat kitchen scraps b/c it doesn't attract insects nor does it smell. What's the easiest way to get started? Do I need to buy more bokashi "microbes" ...