Creating your own compost is easy and has many benefits to your garden. By adding compost to your garden throughout the growing season, you are supplying your garden with the much needed nutrients they require. Compost is also much heavier than typical potting soil or topsoil, and can be used as a great insulator during the winter to protect your plants from the cold, and in the summer to help your plants retain moisture near their roots.
Starting a compost pile is simple too. You first need to pick a container. Some containers on the market are rotating barrels, or silos where you simply add the contents you will be using to make compost with through the top. You can also create a pile in your yard or create a small coral to hold everything together if you are composting on a larger scale. Once you have a container or area to work with, it is time to add materials to your compost to create a rich, nutrient rich soil that you can use in your garden later.
For best results, use a mix of materials. Food scraps like meat, eggs, and fish should be avoided because they can attract pests and generally have an unpleasant smell. Vegetable scraps, grass clippings, yard waste, wood chips, and dried leaves make perfect materials for composting. It is important to have a good mix of materials so that you can create layers within your compost that capture moisture and help bacteria grow to break down the contents.
It is important to constantly rotate your compost on a weekly basis to ensure that the contents are evenly mixed. It is also important to ensure that your compost does not become too dry in hotter months. If your compost dries out, or sits too long without being rotated, bacteria has a very hard time growing and it will be much harder for your compost to break down. Once your compost is ready, simply spread it in your garden, and start over with new materials for another batch or nutrient rich compost!