Yard waste accumulates throughout the year and climaxes as fall approaches. This plant waste isn’t really waste at all. In fact, it’s black gold for your garden. Creating a compost pile can help to create some of the best soil in the world; and all for free. Keeping a winter compost pile throughout the season can ensure when spring rolls around and your ready to plant your garden, you’ll have all of the best soil ready to go.
This part of composting is one of the most crucial steps to keeping a compost pile going through the winter months. A container for compost can be as expensive and intricate as a store bought barrel/drum composter or as simple as a wire fence. The trick of a containment area is to generate enough heat for composting.
Heat occurs as plants decay, attracting yard waste munching bacteria to this perfect home. By spreading out compost, it doesn’t get a chance to heat up properly. A containment field should probably be no larger than a 3’x 3′ area or less for maximum composting power.
The bottom of the containment area should have ample drainage. Before you fill any of your compost pile with yard or kitchen waste, you should apply a layer or two of drainage material. A few layers of interlocking twigs can provide adequate drainage. Rocks and gravels work well too as do pine straw and hay.
Filling it up
On top of your drainage area, begin piling up alternating layers of green and brown waste. Green waste is plants and kitchen waste that still is wet and green. Brown waste is dried leaves and twigs. Don’t fill up the bin just yet; this first layer will take some time to decompose.
A cup of blood meal will expedite the process of decomposition. You can also add already composted soil or potting soil to the mix. This soil contains enough bacteria to get the compost party started.
Once you get to this level in the compost pile, add some water with the hose. It helps to feed the microorganisms and bacteria that thrive on decaying matter. Just don’t over do it. The pile should be moist enough to still take on more water.
Now it’s just a matter of repeating the process throughout the season. At the end of the year, you’ll have plenty of good soil for your spring garden.