Rafed English

Start a Perfect Compost Pile

Do dig a shallow hole about 4' by 4' by 2' (surround with cinder blocks or chicken wire, if you like), or use a compost bin. Layer with leaves, branches, and twigs (“browns”), then with grass and plant clippings (“greens”). Water and mix so it’s moist but not soaked.

Don't include diseased foliage, as it can kill plants on which you use the fertilizer later.

Do toss in vegetable food waste (but not animal by-products, which can attract pests).

Don't add weeds. If the seeds don’t break down, you’ll plant them again next year.

Do chop up large branches and evergreen boughs, so they can break down faster.

Don't forget it. Keep compost moist and mix with a pitchfork every week as weather allows. Check its temperature with your hand or a compost thermometer. It should be warm (100 degrees). If not, add greens.

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