Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Have you turned your compost lately?

It's a great time of year to start a compost pile. I like to turn mine every week or two.

Grass clippings add nitrogen to your compost. Clippings also need to be broken up in your pile. If you toss in a layer and don't break it up the grass will stick together and form a solid mat. It needs to be broken up with a pitchfork, or a stick. I know from experience it is easier to mix in the grass when it is fresh, than it is to break it up later.

If you see white on the mat of clippings that is just part of the decomposition process. You may also notice the grass is HOT. This means it is decomposing and creating heat. This is GOOD.

Grass clippings can sometime decompose so quickly and generate enough heat that it makes sounds. A few years ago a neighborhood was evacuated because someone's green recycling bin was hot and ticking. It turned out that the homeowner had dumped in a ton of grass clippings (it was spring). All the grass in the covered barrel generated gas and heat over a few days - in the sun. After it started making noise I guess he was afraid to just open the lid and see what was in there! Don't let this happen to you - start your compost pile today!

2 comments:

Julie said...

I am a very poor composter! I tried it for a few years, but never did well at it! I finally got rid of my bin. I believe it was due to the hot weather here...it was not easily accessible, and with the heat most of the year, I never wanted to go out there, so I failed. I think if I tore off the back of my house and restructured it so that I could have a convenient path to my composter, I might have success! LOL. When we love in about 4 years (when my husband retires), I will be sure to look for this in my new house, because at that time I would love to start composting!!!

Julie said...

I meant to say when we MOVE in about 4 years!!! Sorry...typo!

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