We are so blessed to live in the valley that we live in. We live in an amazing climate and can grow so many great fruits and vegetables. One way that you can help to prepare your soil for the best possible scenario is to start your own DIY Spring Compost pile.
Spring is the perfect time to start your compost pile. It’s the ideal way to dispose of all the debris that you pull out of your gardens and flower beds as you prep the soil for planting. Plus it is so easy to get started.
#1 Getting started –
Deciding where you want your compost pile to go is the hardest part of the whole process. You will want it close enough to the garden that it will not be a hassle to add the rich nutrients to the garden beds as needed. It will also need to be close enough to have access to water. Water is key to decomposing your items faster and it will help to hit the compost pile with water once and and while. “Out of sight, out of mind,” may not be the best choice with your compost pile. A couple more things you will want to keep in mind is keeping it out of full sun and in a place where it can have complete circulation. Do not put it up against a shed or fence.
#2 What to collect –
Spring is the perfect time to start a compost pile. You will have a variety of debris to clean out of your flower beds and vegetable gardens. To make a good compost, you will want to make sure you include items that produce carbon. These items include branches, dried leaves, straw, recycled paper & cardboard. Alongside the carbon, you will need to make sure you have nitrogen. This can be found in your kitchen scraps (excluding meats, dairy & oils), grass clippings, hedge clippings, coffee grounds, tea bags, juice pulp and egg shells. For best results, you will want to layer the browns/carbons and the greens/nitrogen. Each time you add a layer, you will also want to wet it down a bit.
#3 Size Matters –
When it comes to composting, you do not want to fill your bin with huge bulky items. These items will take much longer to break down and turn into the black gold that you need. One of the best ways to aid with the break down is to chop up the sticks and branches into smaller pieces. This will help speed up the breakdown process.
#4 Watering & Turning –
Part of the decomposing process will require you turning the pile every now and again. This will help with aeration and be another key factor in speeding up the decaying process. If your compost pile gets too much water then it will not heat up enough and will need to be turned more frequently. This will help dry it out a little. However, if you are noticing that your compost is dry as you are turning it then you will want to make sure to add a little moisture.
#6 Activator –
To help the process begin, you will need microbes and organisms. You can do this by purchasing a compost starter, worms, or you can sprinkle some existing compost or some garden soil onto your compost pile. This will help your pile get a nice start until it will it can produce its own micro-life.
How do you know if you are doing it right? Your compost should smell earthy. If it has a foul smell to it, then you need to take a look at what items you have and at what quantity you have in your pile. A foul smell could mean bad bacteria, which is not something you want to start a garden with.
How do you know when it is finished? Finished compost is dark and will feel like soil.
Like this post? Don’t forget to also check out our post on Early Spring Crops to Plant