If you've been gardening for any length of time, you've heard that compost is quite nearly the be-all-end-all of soil conditioner. If rich enough compost can supply all your garden's fertilizer as well, but how do you make this stuff, and what do you put in it? Here you go:

  • dried leaves
  • saw dust
  • wood chips
  • kitchen scraps (stay away from meat as it will draw rodents and other nasty critters)
  • grass clippings
  • garden waste
  • animal manure (cow, rabbit, horse, worm or chicken)

Your growing medium needs bacteria, fungus, worms and all kinds of creatures to breakdown the above ingredients into forms that the plants can use. The microbes, nutrients and resulting mass of decayed organic matter is used to hold water and add structure your soil by binding loose sand and loosening dense clay.


These days animal manure has been virtually eliminated from our society because cars have replaced beasts of burden. The easiest animal manure to get is worm manure, a perfect ready-to-use compost in its own right. Add animal manure to give to your compost pile a quick fix of nitrogen and to inoculate it with a bunch of microbes to kick start the heat process.


The greatest success I've had with composting the traditional way is by starting a large compost pile all at once. Mix half dried leaves with half grass clippings in a pile at least three feet wide, across and high. Throw in kitchen scraps and garden waste if you have any. Water until as moist as damp sponge.


This will heat up. The hottest I've had a compost pile was 160F. Cooking! Turn every three days until temperature begins to cool. Afterward leave it be. This process takes about six months to decompose.


After the heat process is over, add a pound of earthworms to finish it off.


Grow'em big!


One Response to “Five Proven Ingredients You Should Add to Your Compost Pile”

  1. Damon Says:

    What ingredients will you add to your compost pile?

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.