How to Speed Up the Composting Process

How to Speed Up the Composting Process
  • Opening Intro -

    Your compost pile is well stocked and is regularly replenished with kitchen scraps, lawn cuttings and ground up leaves.

    But there is one problem: you don't have enough composted material ready to supply your extensive garden footprint through the summer.

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Fortunately, there are ways to speed up the decomposing process, to deliver a healthy supply of rich, finished home-made material to your gardens all summer long.

1. Turn it over. Yes, if you place your materials in your compositor regularly and turn over your piles every four to five weeks, you will see the intended results. Move that frequency to two to four weeks, and you will step up the breakdown process without affecting heat build up that maximizes bacterial activity.

2. Check your ingredients. Quite easily you may find yourself adding to your compost pile and neglecting to balance the green with the brown. Essentially you should have a 1-to-1 mixture as the green materials contribute nitrogen and the brown carbon according to the University of Illinois Extension service. Inspect your compost pile regularly to ensure that the mixture is even. Decrease or increase accordingly.

3. Add in fertilizer. Too much brown material can be offset by green material, but instead of adding more grass clippings, add in a nitrogen-based fertilizer to speed up composting. Fresh grass at this point of the process won’t enough.

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Manage your compost area with proven compost bins and rollers.

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4. Monitor your water supply. Too much or too little water can impact your compost. If it is too damp, your compost may stink. If it is too dry, it won’t help break down the materials. A good rule of thumb is to supply enough water to make your pile damp, like a wrung out sponge. Add water anytime you replenish with brown materials.

5. Expand your footprint. Quite easily, you may not have enough compost on hand to serve your needs. Now may be the time to expand your composting footprint to supply those needs. Beyond barrels, bins and compost units, you might establish a section of your yard for debris. Use a lawn mower to grind up grass and leaves, and work these materials in as needed.

Composting Notes

When turning the compost, work from the outside to ensure that outer edge materials are placed in the center. With regular care, your compost should be ready in three months, enabling you to replenish your garden and restock you compost unit with new brown and green materials for later months.

See AlsoYou Can Build Your Own Compost Area

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Categories: Yard and Garden

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".