If your plants could talk, they’d beg you to create and maintain a compost pile. After some initial work to set things up, it becomes second nature to dispose of certain food scraps and yard clippings to your pile, converting the junk into rich soil.
The Environmental Protection Agency set up guidelines for keeping your compost rig flowing properly.
One method calls for layering a container with food scraps for carbon and plants for nitrogen, keeping everything moist. Some people add worms to help break down the material.
You’re probably best choosing a spot that’s shady and accessible with a garden hose. When adding to the pile, use stuff that’s already broken up into small chunks, and keep the whole thing covered to help the compost stay moist and more prone to break down. Let it stew for several weeks before you can expect results.
The gunk at the bottom of the pile, which should be darker than the rest, is the stuff you can use to enrich your plants.
It’s probably a good idea to give your neighbors a heads-up on what you’re doing so they’re more inclined to look at your possibly ugly, foul-smelling backyard project with admiration rather than disdain.
Create Your Own Compost Pile [Environmental Protection Agency]