Discover a natural and easy method to organically fertilize your garden.
Making hot compost is the easiest and quickest when you start out with a simple pile. Later you might try tumbling compost barrels and homemade compost bins. To make hot compost you need a 50-50 mix of brown (carbon) material and green (nitrogen) material. The mix needs to be by weight (approximately) not volume. Finely chopped materials will break down more quickly.
Below you will find listed some examples of material you can add to your pile with their nutrient types.
Some brown ingredients might include corncobs, paper, woodchips and sawdust, pine needles, straw, dry leaves etc. Some green material would include grass clippings, feathers, eggshells, fruit waste, coffee grounds, rotted manure, and even fresh leaves.
Help speed things up by adding some of the of the following; half a shovel of garden soil for microbes, half a shovel of bone meal, a shovel of wood ashes; high in potash and carbon, some crushed rock maybe granite dust for the microbes.
Start building the pile in layers about three to four inches thick. First a layer of brown then a layer of green then your shovels of extras. Continue to build till your pile is at least three to four feet tall. To make hot compost you will need to keep the pile evenly moist, about like a wrung out sponge. Covering your pile with a tarp will help to keep it from drying out.
Chop down through your pile taking two or three inch bites with a mattock. Then turn your pile; this involves moving it to produce a pile right next to where it stood. If you chop through and turn the pile every two days you will have finished hot compost in about two weeks.
Never use chips or sawdust from treated wood.
When you use a compost thermometer you will know how well your compost is cooking.
If your pile doesn't heat up enough add some more green material and make sure your pile is not drying out (remember as damp as a well wrung sponge).
Some Compost Recipes
1) Two parts fresh grass cuttings (don't use grass from treated lawns)
Two parts dry leaves
One part good garden soil
Make grass and leaf layers about three inches thick and then add layer of soil. Alternate till you reach a height of about three to four feet.The layer of garden soil should only be about one to one and one half inches thick.
2) Two parts grass clippings
One half- part pine needles
One half- part breads
One part shredded newspaper black print only
One shovel wood ashes per layer (not from painted or treated wood)
One inch of good garden soil per layer
Remember to keep moist not wet
3) Two parts woodchips and sawdust (untreated wood)
Two parts fruit and vegetable wastes and fresh leaves
Half a shovel of bone meal
One inch of finished compost per layer for microbes