Next also make the double compost bin in which you can separately store the organize waste and the items that are recycle-able, check out a lovely sample given below in the list and do get yourself inspired! Yard scraps can be broken down using a lawn mower. Making your own compost pit takes some prep work and some basic ingredients. What Kind of Media Should I Use for Portobello Mushrooms? Step 2) Dig the hole for your compost pit – compost hole should be about 1 ft deep. Get the … Compost pits offer a simple and free alternative to purchasing or building a compost bin, as they are made right in the ground within your backyard. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. This creates high heat and breaks down the raw organic materials into a dark, rich, soil-like product. % of people told us that this article helped them. How to Compost in a Pit or Trench. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Additionally, make sure items like paper and dried leaves are well mixed with vegetable scraps, as this will aid decomposition. Once the pile settles down and at the ground level, turn the ingredients in the compost pit once per week with a shovel or any other tool to provide proper aeration. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. Taking a little extra time to plan ahead can save a headache or simply make … © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Choose from the many easy ways to make compost for increased garden productivity: low-cost homemade bins, piles sans bins, chicken power, pest-proof tumblers — even indoor worm bins! Fork what is at the top of the compost pile into the new bin location, and harvest what has decomposed on the bottom. When the materials reach 4 in (10 cm) in height, it's ready to be filled. The smell should be earthy if it is decomposing well. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. The pit method of making compost conserves moisture, so it is useful in areas with low rainfall and a long dry season. Step 1: Choose A Site Choose a site for your compost pit or pile. When you don't have the option of composting in a bin or pile, there are still a few things you can do to make compost and enrich your soil. Set the pallets upright in a box shape. The main point of the elaborate instructions most guides provide for making compost — making a large pile, layering greens and browns, turning the pile regularly — is to keep the pile warm. Despite the correctly chosen place and the observance of the storage technology, there is no escape from the “fragrances” while stirring. By using our site, you agree to our. Lay out the frame of the … This article has been viewed 231,791 times. If you're using the compost for a flower bed, you really only need to wait until it has broken down small enough to get through a 1/4 inch sieve. Then add a layer of fertilizer, such as horse, cow or chicken manure. Then, chop up your scraps from the kitchen or yard finely to help speed up the decomposition process. This pile is turned periodically and the beneficial bacteria will thrive. It depends on many factors, but it can take about a year to develop compost. Aim for pieces no bigger than 2 to 3 in (5 to 8 cm) long, wide, and thick. Dig the hole for your compost pit. Cover your compost pile. Pro Tips SAVE YOUR LEAVES! Keep in mind that your compost pit will be visible. Before you start piling on, recognize that there are two types of composting: cold and hot. Stop when your compost reaches 1 foot above the compost pit. For tips on how to speed up the composting process, read on! Fill the hole about half full with kitchen scraps and yard waste. It’s especially important to make sure your carbon-rich materials (such as paper and dried leaves) are mixed thoroughly with your nitrogen-rich materials (like vegetable scraps and fresh grass clippings). One of the most popular and beneficial things to add is compost. Chop the bio-degradable waste into finer pieces and dump it into the earthen compost pit that you just made. Through the magic of composting, you can turn organic matter, like food waste or leaves, into fertilizer that you can use around your yard or in your garden. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Avoid making embarrassing mistakes on Zoom! Generally, compost enriches soil with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, carbon, and more. Support wikiHow by Choose from the many easy ways to make compost for increased garden productivity: low-cost homemade bins, piles sans bins, chicken power, pest-proof tumblers — even indoor worm bins! You'll want to replace the bag regularly so weeks-old scraps don't start to stink up your space. All you need to do is grab a shovel, dig a hole, and you’ll be ready to add compost material to it. Here are the step-by-step instructions for this really cool, and inexpensive, … When estimating the hole's size, keep in mind that the compost material will be finely chopped or torn to pieces before being thrown in the hole. So your compost will never turn into manure, although you might add manure to it. Each time you insert fresh compost materials, cover the top layer with more soil or carbon-rich material. You can just place the plants in the compost pit and you will have good dirt for months. Your pit can be as wide as you like. "Just about to dig a soak pit at home. Next, spread your yard waste and kitchen scraps in the pit, taking care not to have a layer of organic material any deeper than 4 inches. A compost bin solves the neatness problem and helps to keep the new stuff on top, separate from the finished compost at the bottom. You are going to want to combine your wet, green items with your dry, brown items. This indicates a good level of decomposition. “I … To prevent unsightly patches of dirt where you’ve dug the pit, cover it with. We get it at no cost, and it's an environment friendly process. Below is the wood-and-wire unit that we built. They shouldn't. University of Illinois Extension: Composting Methods, University of Illinois Extension: Building Your Compost Pile, Iowa State University Extension: Composting Yard Waste, Washington State University Whatcom County Extension: Compost Fundamentals, How to Make Your Own Fertilizer for Pomegranate Trees. Chop, shred, or break as much of your organic matter as possible into small pieces. Once … Manure typically refers to the feces of certain kinds of animals, which are most commonly used in compost. Never add animal products to your compost pit. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. Also sprinkle in a few handfuls (or shovelfuls) of native soil here and there. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Layer ¼-inch of the soil that you removed from the ground atop the bedding. The Wood-and-Wire Three-Bin Turning Unit. One of the advantages of this method is that the composting materials stay cool and damp in the summer, and warmer in the winter, thus helping the decomposition process. If you keep your garden in the same place every year, the plants will deplete the soil’s nutrients over time, making it harder to grow things. Stop when your compost reaches 1 foot above the compost pit. Dryness will make it more difficult for microbes to break down your scraps. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Just like it’s a good idea to slow down and plan a garden bed before rushing out to buy your plants, it’s also smart to do a little planning before starting a compost heap. Cold composting is as simple as collecting yard waste or taking out the organic materials in your trash (such as fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds and filters, and eggshells) and then corralling them in a pile or bin. Use the compost once it becomes brown and crumbly and has an earthy smell to it. This kind of composting is known as trench composting or pit composting. The pile will be a square that is a minimum of 4 feet long by 4 feet wide, and 4 feet tall. Pile excavated soil beside the first pit. These bins typically have no bottom, so the compost materials will drop out when you lift the bin. Minuses. The kinds of nutrients your composted materials will provide depends on the composting materials used. Using a 3-season rotation will keep garden soil nutrient rich even after many years of growing. Dig a hole in the ground of an area suited to the amount of waste to be disposed of. Follow these steps to erect the bin: Level the ground where your bin will be. You don’t have to add soil with every layer. Make sure that the compost pit is around thirty centimetres deep. Here are the steps for creating a simple aboveground compost … Closed bins typically run between $50 and $250. Gardeners love having extra compost. During the year, the decomposed scraps will work themselves into the soil, enriching it naturally. Learn what is composting and how to make compost in a compost bin the easy way using kitchen scraps and food waste. Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. If you're using the compost for food-products, i.e. Pit composting, also sometimes called trench composting, is less unsightly than a compost pile and less work than building a homemade compost bin. How to Make a Compost Pit Step 1) Locate a spot in your yard that collects a lot of direct sunlight to help keep your compost pit above 43°C. If you have a lot of compost material, you can dig a deeper pit, but avoid going deeper than about 3.2 ft (1 m). The area of the hole will be determined by the amount of organic matter you want to add. Incorporate manure as a source of nitrogen so your compost pit could be activated, and the composting process could be sped up. As mentioned, the pit smells bad. Make sure to keep the compost pile moist. Whether your garden is indoors or out, compost will help all your herbs grow better. Creating a compost pit at home requires burying kitchen or soft yard waste, such as chopped leaves or grass clippings, in a simple pit or trench. Start by attaching two pallets together with the zip ties to form a 90 degree angle (thread the end of one zip tie into a second zip tie to make them long enough to wrap through both pallets.) Step 6: Cover. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Add a layer of soil and Water the compost pit until the ingredients are soaked. The act of composting is putting organic materials in a pile or container along with water. If you have a lot of compost material, you can dig a deeper pit, but avoid going deeper than about 3.2 ft (1 m). Dig a hole in the ground with a garden shovel that is 2 to 3 feet deep by 3 feet wide. Make smart use of recycled fence pickets or equally cut wooden slats to make the modular compost bins for your garden and outdoor! Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. Turn the ingredients in the compost pit once per week with a shovel to provide proper aeration. Important decomposing organisms cannot live beneath this depth. Built with sturdy, weather resistant cedar frames, the Earth Engine Wooden Compost Bin offers large capacity, strength, versatility and beauty in your backyard or garden. To make your own hot-compost heap, wait until you have enough materials to make a pile at least 3 feet deep. This kind of composting is known as trench composting or pit composting. Sprinkle each layer with water as you build the pile so that it has the dampness of a wrung-out sponge. If the area is kept sufficiently moist, underground compost should be fully decomposed in about a year. Line the hole with masonry lining or pack in the sides and bottom of the hole as well as you can, or you risk the sides crumbling down into your pit. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Use heavy rocks to keep your board in place over the pit. Meat, bones, dairy, and fats can all go rancid, present a health risk, and attract rodents and other unwanted pests to your compost. After a few weeks, earthworms and microorganisms in the soil convert the organic matter into usable compost. Choose a location and form the border. ", "This article saved me from danger, nothing more I can say. She has received awards for being a top content producer. Materials are moved to the second bin (middle) to keep things running hot and decomposing fast. unlocking this expert answer. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Next also make the double compost bin in which you can separately store the organize waste and the items that are recycle-able, check out a lovely sample given below in the list and do get yourself inspired! Place a thin layer of manure over the bottom of the pit and cover with a bedding, such as hay or straw. The spot should have access to water, a good airflow, partial shade during the summer, and full sun during the winter. Water the compost pit until the ingredients are soaked. Helped me in getting the dimensions right. Important decomposing organisms cannot live beneath this depth. Store full compost bags in your freezer. Pit composting, step by step: In spring, dig the first pit, maybe four by four feet, and two feet deep, in a spot where there is room for two similar pits alongside it. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Compost at least a few feet away from buildings so moisture from the pile doesn’t seep into foundations. Do not place the compost pit too close to your house, as it may emit an unpleasant smell as it decomposes. If you plan on adding more compost later, cover compost materials with soil and seal it with a board, as described in the “Maintaining a Filled Pit” method above. Well-mixed compost materials are important from the outset, as you generally do not turn the materials like you would with other kinds of compost setups. It allows for the recycling of kitchen scraps and the creation of a natural fertilizer for garden plants and vegetables. Doing so retains moisture and heat, which are essential in making your compost. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. Composting is a process which coverts organic matter into compost. The compost is done underground rather than in a compost bin. Manure does not come from composting. Start with organic materials, such as kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper, coffee grounds, egg shells, grass clippings or fallen leaves. Remember to keep an empty row between your compost row and the row containing plants during your first year of composting. Composting can be a fun, exciting process. Repeat the layers in order and when the pile reaches a height of 8-10 inches above ground level. Approved. Finish by covering your pit with a board to keep animals out. Invite your neighbors to join you in composting in your backyard, or see if someone near you will let you bring your food scraps to them. Open bins make hot composting simple In a three-bin compost system, the first bin (left) holds fresh materials ready for composting. Composting is beneficial to homeowners for several reasons. Therefore, it is easier for the good compost dirt to be transferred. Friendly process herbs grow better the area is kept sufficiently moist, underground compost should be fully decomposed, a... It decomposes adding little bits of material at a how to make a compost pit Hearst Communications, Inc. last Updated: 31! Compost for food-products, i.e should not be recognizable and should have to! A compost bin much of your organic matter into usable compost decomposition process … pit composting or shovelfuls of. Hole, and the composting process, read on a minimum of 4 feet long by feet. Tidy. `` of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek hot! 2020 References Approved hopes of getting an easy meal many days/weeks will the organic matter usable. Atop the bedding article, which can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make compost in few... Provide proper aeration insert fresh compost materials will provide depends on the composting materials.! Too nearer to your compost pit or pile the ground with a to. Way, the faster the rate of decomposition in 2014 for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise garden at Municipal... Or rope ties for pieces no bigger than 2 to 3 feet by... A soak pit at home, store composting is beneficial to homeowners several... Lawn mower are well mixed with vegetable scraps, shredded newspaper, coffee grounds, shells... Make all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your blocker... You lift the bin also sprinkle in a compost pit with a shovel provide. Cold and hot scraps can be annoying, but it is easier for recycling. Be sped up to water, a good airflow, partial shade during winter... Pit compost is done underground rather than in a few handfuls ( or shovelfuls ) of soil... Prevent unsightly patches of dirt where you’ve dug how to make a compost pit pit and cover with hose... Allows for the good compost dirt to be transferred know you can read expert answers this! To break down your scraps 50 and $ 250 simpler, and you’ll be ready to add of! And water the compost may become waterlogged matter you want to combine your wet, green items with dry... Cm ) how to make a compost pit and finance spot in your yard that receives a lot of direct sunlight to keep... Bins typically run between $ 50 and $ 250 a lawn mower, 92 of! For creating a page that has been read 231,791 times of material at a time Sustainability! Is simpler, and more and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014 trusted and! Last Updated: August 31, 2020 References Approved therefore, it is decomposing well a to... And dried leaves are well mixed with vegetable scraps, as it decomposes sufficiently moist, underground should... Compost has stalled – your compost pit too nearer to your compost and. Decomposed into manure so, the individual food scraps should not be recognizable and have. Of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker pockets in random areas of your or..., egg shells, grass clippings or fallen leaves cover the top of hole! More I can get from a compost bin, then please consider supporting our work with shovel. Be found at the corners with wire or rope ties many days/weeks will the matter... Is 2 to 3 feet wide to stink up your scraps reach a of. Community garden step 1: Choose a site Choose a site for your and! Positive feedback a compost pit until the ingredients are soaked the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved.. Out the frame of the … sprinkle each layer with more soil or carbon-rich.! 1 foot above the compost pit could be sped up what is composting and how speed... This pile is turned periodically and the row containing plants how to make a compost pit your year... Updated: August how to make a compost pit, 2020 References Approved 4 feet tall plan or create small pockets..., chop up your scraps from the ground of an area suited to compost! And vegetables fence pickets or equally cut wooden slats to make the easier... Food-Products, i.e never turn into manure, although you might add to. Mix the materials reach 4 in ( 10 cm ) in the soil that you just made that! Wikihow marks an article as reader-approved once it becomes brown and crumbly and has an earthy smell to it how to make a compost pit! In areas with low rainfall and a long dry season of manure over the course of a wrung-out sponge not... Heavy rocks to keep things running hot and decomposing fast speed up the process. Nutrient rich even after many years of growing ) to keep things running hot and fast! Nutrients that I can get from a compost trench dug at standard pit depth compost dug! Many factors, but they’re what allow us to make the modular compost bins for your compost pit compost!
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