Keeping a compost pile is a great way for your family to green your home by reducing your contribution to landfills and supplying yourself with a nearly infinite source of organic fertilizer. Although home compost heaps do require some maintenance, they are relatively easy to take care of.
Here are a few maintenance tips to help you make sure your compost pile works to your advantage:
- Combat bad smells. A bad smell can be a sign that your compost isn't decomposing properly. Add straw or grass clippings to the pile and turn it well if it's giving off a strong smell. If it's too soggy, add dry leaves to counteract the amount of water in the pile.
- Keep it small. Smaller pieces of plant matter decompose more quickly and are less likely to attract the attention of scavenging animals who will be tempted to dig through the pile to get at them.
- Turn the pile. Turning, or digging through the pile to expose different parts of it to the air, is needed to aerate the compost and provide oxygen to the bacteria that are contributing to the decomposition process. Turning the pile will help to alleviate any strong odors you may be smelling from your pile as well.
- Water the pile. Water is essential for the decomposition process, but just enough to make the pile moist, but not wet. Over-watering the pile can lead to the death of the bacteria you are trying to encourage. It can help to make a small dent at the top of the pile for easy measuring and absorption.