Feature

Tip of the week: How to keep a compost pile

Containers, Ingredients, Maintenance

Containers. Purchase or build a large, bottomless container and place it in a shady area outside. Use a lidded container in the kitchen to collect food scraps as you cook.

Ingredients. Food waste and fresh grass clippings should compose about a quarter of the compost pile, and the rest should be dry materials like leaves, twigs, and paper. Don’t compost meats, cheeses, or oils, but do throw in coffee grounds, eggshells, and fruit and vegetable scraps.

Maintenance. The pile should be “like a wrung-out sponge”—damp but not soaking. Spritz it with a hose if the top’s too dry. To control the odor, maintain “a thick layer of dry stuff, like dead leaves” on top. At about six months, the compost will turn to soil. When it does, spread the soil where it’s needed or move the container and start again.

Source: Real Simple

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