Once you’ve determined a place and structure for your compost you will have to add the material. While there isn’t necessarily a perfect compost recipe, there are specific concepts that make the process more efficient and help to avoid any problems.
A common guideline is a 3:1 ratio of brown material and green material, water and air.
Brown Material mostly comes from trees, and is rich in carbon; leaves, pine needles, straw
Green Material comes from fresh material rich in nitrogen; kitchen waste, grass clippings, manure
When adding the different materials into your pile, layer them individually and spread them evenly.
Water; add water if the material is dry, dry compost does not breakdown well. Do not over saturate either, soggy compost also takes a long time to break down. Keep compost piles protected from the rain with a waterproof tarp.
Air; keeping the material aerated will speed up the decomposition. Some people turn frequently while others do not. Start by working the material in the center of the pile to the outside and pushing the outside material inward. A turning fork is excellent for this job.
Once the center material starts to turn black your material is ready for inclusion into your garden. Compost should smell earthy and resemble rich soil. Unpleasant odors may be a result of overwatering or incomplete decomposition.
Do you have any tips or tricks for better compost? BMS would love to hear from you.