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How to Start a Compost Pile for Your Flower Garden

April 15, 2009

Here is a great way to start a compost pile for your flower garden. Spring is a perfect time to start a compost pile to use as natural mulch for your garden flowers. To start, choose an area in your yard for the compost pile to grow. For the best results, the areas should be enclosed and should measure at least 4′ by 4′. A compost pile that is smaller than this may not be large enough to compost properly. Some people use chicken wire to create a composting area. Others use wooden boards to enclose the compost. There are also bins that are made specifically for compost piles.

The area you choose should be warm to make the composting process faster. If it is in direct sunlight, it may get too dry and not decompose properly. The right spot is warm but not in direct sunlight. It should also have plenty of air circulation, but some protection from strong winds should be provided.

The key to composting is to add the right materials and to allow the warmth of the climate to make the decomposition of the materials go faster. Left by themselves, it can take leaves as long as two years to decompose. But with an effective compost pile, this process can be shortened to about three months.

To start your compost pile, start by adding yard waste such as leaves, branches, vines and grass clippings to the pile. If your grass clippings or weeds have seed heads developed, these should not be added to the pile. Food items like fruits, vegetables, egg shells and coffee grounds are great composting materials, but avoid adding meat, dairy items or fish to the compost pile. These can attract unwanted insects as well as local wildlife to the compost pile.

If your grass or plants have been treated with chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides, those plant clippings should not be added. These chemicals may take a long time to decompose, and they could potentially harm the plants that you want to nourish with the compost.

To make the decomposition of the items go faster; add a little water to the compost pile regularly. The compost should not be wet enough to make it muddy, but it should be kept moist most of the time. When the compost is ready, it will smell like dirt and have a crumbly consistency like soil. It will be dark brown in color and it will be full of nutrients to nourish your garden flowers.

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