Making Compost – Organic Composting 101 (Lots Of Tips)


Phil: Hey guys itÕs Phil from smilinggardener.com.
If you havenÕt picked up my free online organic gardening course, you can do that right on
the home page of smilinggardener.com. Today we are talking about organic composting
and we are going to be making some compost together. The reason I love compost so much
is what it does for my garden. ItÕs kind of behind these trees here and that is to
bring in fertility and organic matter and beneficial microorganisms and insects and
a whole host of benefits to the garden. Now we are doing organic composting today and
all that really means to me is that we are using organic materials. No genetically modified
materials, well now you can spike it with any chemicals.
We are not going to use maneuver from animals that receive a whole lot of antibiotics and
hormones and things like that. We are going to try to keep it clean. In terms of materials
you donÕt want to use ,I have a few around here, one would be anything thatÕs toxic
such as this paper. If you could have this kind of colored paper, it really has a lot
of toxins in it, anything that you might think of being toxic you probably donÕt want to
put in there. You can put most weeds into the compost they
will be taking care of no problem, there are a few like this quack grass or bind weed or
others that really spread that you really donÕt want to take the chance that they are
going to be put all throughout your garden when you spread your compost. Leave them now
put other weeds in, some people are pretty nervous about using dog or cat maneuver, personally
I have no problem with using a bit of it. I am not going to get into more detail on
that today. It is kind of a controversial topic but I have no problem with a tiny amount
of that stuff in there likewise you can use your own human maneuver and urine in a compost
pile. They are great nutritionally, they are great
to divert from this sour system. You can put meat and other animal products in there but
it will sometimes attract like skunks and raccoons and things like that, so a lot of
people donÕt use them in the compost. If you thing that you could attract even just
put your food scraps, rat source, skunks and raccoons and things like that. What again
you want to do is build a bin that doesnÕt let them in, thatÕs getting the talking about
some ingredients we can use. Now you may have heard compost ingredients to be discussed
as greens versus browns and that doesnÕt really refer to the color of the necessarily,
although sometimes it does. What it really refers to is greens means more
nitrogen rich materials and brown means more carbon rich materials and we are trying to
balance out those two nutrients, those two elements in the compost pile. So greens means
things like maneuver, I donÕt have any maneuver today, I donÕt tend to use it all that much
in the compost pile but that is one that is more of nitrogen source, especially when you
get down to the bird maneuver like chicken maneuver.
Another one is fresh grass clippings or weeds that you might have picked that contain more
nitrogen. Young plants, especially tentative have more nitrogen and as they get older they
become more carbon rich, food scraps are another one, they tend to be all over the map for
their carbon to nitrogen ratio but we tend to think of them a little bit more than nitrogen,
now I want your raw material as your carbon rich materials, for me what are main ones
is straw or you can use hay too, hay has a little bit more weed seeds but that can be
okay, thatÕs a really good one. Leaves are great carbon source and nice nutrition source
too. I like to put them in the compost obviously in the fall and the n I donÕt tend to use
it much but if you do have some saw dust or some wood scraps, they can make nice carbon
component of the compost pile suite there, very high in carbons.
They need to be balanced it with a lot of nitrogen but thatÕs okay, now you can just
take one kind of nitrogen and one kind of carbon source and mix them together and thatÕs
fine but I do like to get a diversity if possible because the more different sources I am bringing
in, the more different microorganisms I am bringing in and different nutrients I am bringing
in and generally I am going to get a nice or more diverse compost pile. When it comes
to mixing these things together, a general simple rule for composting 101 is to try to
get 2 to 4 times as much brown carbon materials as green nitrogen materials and so really
that just keeps it simple, you can get a lot more technical and mathematical about it but
thatÕs an easy way to go about it. LetÕs get into how to make organic compost
and we get into my bin here, you can see I have out of palettes because thatÕs the free
and very easy way to do it, I just tie them together with a little bit of rope, you donÕt
even need a bandage just keep things a little bit tight here in terms of size this is about
the minimum I would go with which is about 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet tall and then I
go up to a size of about 5 feet by 5 feet 5 feet. I have actually been leaning a little
more to larger size as recently because it helps to get the pile harder. What happens
if the pile is too small if itÕs much smaller than 3 by 3 by 3 itÕs not going to be able
to heat up and I think heating up is what allows the composting process to happen and
it also kills weed seeds and pathogens. So we want to get some heat going in there,
on the other hand if your pile gets too big and there is not enough air getting into the
middle and we want air to be outflow with the pile because we are trying to make aerobic
compost because we are trying to get aerobic air breathing microorganism. The way to make
sure that you have enough air in the pile and the pile stays nice and hard and that
all of the materials get into the middle of the pile is to turn the piles, thatÕs what
I am going to do right now. So you can see it starts to look a little more like compost
when I get down to the bottom of my pile but for me it doesnÕt look entirely like compost
because I put in things like this big stocks of corn or tomatoes.
First of all I would like to recycle them but it also helps keep it more aerated as
well. So at the end of the process, eventually they will break down but by the time I am
ready to use the compost, there still going to be in there and will have to strain them
out but it adds more air. So for this turning of compost what a lot of people will do is
they will have two or three bins in alternative from one bin into another. I just keep it
simple with one band and so I turn my compost out, turned your back in and kind of mix it
in a little differently and then make sure that everything is getting a chance to be
in the middle of the pile and it introduces a lot of air in there too.
ThatÕs for how often you turn that kind of depends on what your goals are, if you want
compost that has done really fast like as little as a few weeks, you can chop up all
your materials really small, make your pile and then turn it every 3 to 7 days, what I
like to do is just turn my compost pile a couple of times throughout the growing season,
when I do that it may take 8 months for it to get done but itÕs going to save me a lot
of work and a lot of time and itÕs going to retain more nutrition because every time
you turn a pile and get more air in there, it gets the metabolism going faster and it
gets breaking down more and off casing more, I would like to retain more nutrition, retain
more fungi and beneficial organisms. So now I am going to start turning my materials
back in. So thatÕs how I like to water every time I build or turn a compost pile whenever
I am shelving materials into the pile there always getting water, so I make sure I have
a lot of moisture in there. So thatÕs it for organic composting 101. If you have any
questions leave them down below and I will answer them. If you havenÕt signed up for
my free online organic gardening course you can do that down below. You can join me and
my sister over on Facebook at facebook.com/smilinggardener or me over on YouTube at youtube.com/gardenersmiling.
I request you, just to keeping on your toes there.
Making Compost – Organic Composting 101 (Lots Of Tips)

23 thoughts on “Making Compost – Organic Composting 101 (Lots Of Tips)

  1. I've also read that heat is a byproduct of the composting process, not a goal in of its self. If there's no heat, it's merely an indicator that the process is going slow.

  2. So I got a juicer and would like to use the scraps for compost but I don't really have access to hay or any of the other brown things you mentioned. Are there other brown materials I could use?

  3. Nice. I started 2 weeks ago and haven't had to water, due to the rain in our area, but, 2 weeks and I already found a few worms doing their thing, and the bottom to middle of the pile is breaking down nicely. This is fun science!

  4. Thanks for the great tips, I'm a beginning gardener, and I'm really trying to do it all organic. 🙂 Very informative video, you see like your extremly knowledgeable.

  5. Not sure if you got any response, so I'm ansering, haha.
    There's LOTS of "brown" choices — I use a LOT of shredded newspaper, it also helps heep the pile moist (I use it when I plant as well, line the hole with it. wet it, then cover with good soil to back-fill the plant).
    Coffee grounds or tea leaves/bags are EXCELLENT, as are old dry leaves, plain soil. Most coffee shops will give their used grounds, just ask them!

  6. Thanks for the video I used some of you're methods as well as other's and all is to the good with my compost pile

  7. I ran my corn stalks through a shredder and layered them in between my hay I got from cleaning out my chicken coop. Each new layer would get a sprinkle of Espoma  (beneficial organisms) and water. I have to turn the pile every 3 days because it gets to hot at 180 degrees. Turning it brings the temp down to 125 degrees. I must have too much nitrogen from the shredded corn stalks.

  8. Hello. I'm looking to start my own compost very soon. I live in the midwest United States, and we can have some harsh winters. What suggestions do you have about composting in the winter months. I'm worried that I won't be able to keep the compost warm enough.

  9. Hello Phil  Not everybody has got the space to build a compost pile, me included, so I chop leaves, grass and seaweed and put a few inches on my raised beds to overwinter. I also use this mix as 'chop and drop' on my flower borders. With just a thin layer there's no heat generated but all the work is done by the worms and other good guys in the soil. When it rains or snows the compost gets wet. Keeping it simple, working with nature.

  10. Hello I am not new to gardening but I am new to organic gardening. I have three organic apple trees in my back yard and there is a ton of leafs and apples from the trees. Can I compost all of that? I am building a palate compost bin today.

  11. I am doing this for the first time.  I get the greens but the browns "carbons" are concerning me.  All I really have is leaves and sticks.  I live in the country of NC what other things can I use for my little 3X4 bin?

  12. I don't understand why are everyone doing composting in a separate container or an above the ground setup? Isn't composting directly in the soil by digging a pit suitable? I know the air circulation problem, but won't the earth take care of that?? Plz answer me if you can.

  13. Can you continuously add material to your compost pile throughout the months or seperate the compost piles from month to month?

  14. i can see that you are not much at replying to comments but i was just wondering what is in the hose end sprayer that you water your pile with. could be just water but why bother with the sprayer if that is the case? could be a mixture like reaganite71 uses in his drunken compost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *