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Tips and Guides

5 Tips When Building a Compost Pile for Your Garden

Keep your greens and blooms healthy with the help of a compost pile

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Photography: Paolo Feliciano

Instead of throwing out fruit and vegetable peels in the trash, why not use these materials to create a compost pile? A compost is a collection of decomposed organic substances such as fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, farm-animal manure, and fallen leaves that can help improve and nourish your garden’s soil.

Building a compost pile is a step closer to creating an eco-friendly home. Get started with the help of these tips.

Source: Marthastewart.com. Main photos by Mark Francis Jesalva and Paolo Feliciano.

Keep these tips in mind:

Fill your compost with the right amount of materials

Most piles consist of 1/3 nitrogen (fruit and vegetable peels, grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grounds and farm-animal manure), and 2/3 carbon (fallen leaves, branches, twigs, shredded newspaper, and paper cartons.)

Create a compost pile daily

Don’t just leave coffee grounds and kitchen scraps on your kitchen counter! Reduce clutter by crafting your own compost pile daily. Use a stainless steel bowl to mix your materials then empty the contents to your soil. 

Choose the right location

Make sure that the area is exposed to sunlight and has a good drainage system. Keep your pile away from fences or concrete walls to avoid pests. 

Mix the pile every other day

Make sure that your pile decomposes properly by mixing it using a rake every other day. You may also add layers daily to keep it soft and moist. Don't forget to cover the first layer with dried leaves. 

Add earthworms

Earthworms can help increase soil porosity and allow oxygen to flow into the roots of your plants. They also help loosen the soil to create better water passages.

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