- Place four wooden stakes or metal poles in the ground. Ideal size is 4 X 4, but a 3 x 3 or 5 x 5 will work as well. Poles or stakes should be 3 to 4 feet tall. Wrap the poles with chicken wire and secure the wire together at the ends.
- Place course material in the bottom of the bin you just created. This can be straw, hay, pine straw, corn husks or other course material.
- Add an 8' to 10" layer of leaves.
- Add a shovel full of soil. Any soil will work.
- Add a 2" to 3" layer of grass clippings. It is best not to use grass clippings that have been treated with pesticides.
- Add water.
- Start layering over with step #3. Repeat until you fill the bin.
What do you put in a compost pile?
Leaves and grass are staples of any compost pile. You will need to keep a good balance of brown material (leaves) to the green material (grass). It should be about a 25 to 1 ratio of leaves to grass. Keep this ratio and the pile won't smell. You can add lots of other things to your compost pile as well.
If you don't have any leaves, you can add:
- Paper plates (make sure the package states they can go into a compost pile)
- Hay, straw or pine straw
- Sawdust (not too much or you can compensate by adding more nitrogen)
- Dryer lint
- Wood ashes (not too many)
- Vegetables scraps from the kitchen (veggie peelings, fruit peelings, eggshells, and/or coffee grounds)
- Manure from animals that do not eat meat
- Weeds (preferably before they flower and set seed)
- 10-10-10 fertilizer (small amounts - you can use fertilizer if you don't have anything else in this list to replace the grass. It can also be used to help break down sawdust.)
- Diseased plants
- Oily food scraps
- Dog/cat manure
- Invasive weeds
If you make an effort, you will never have to purchase potting soil again!