The Grounds Guys

How To Make A Compost Pile

Why compost?

Composting is good for many reasons. It improves the quality of soil, enabling it to retain moisture, nutrients, and air, which helps your lawn and plants grow healthier. Since it’s a natural fertilizer, you can save some money by not having to buy those expensive chemical fertilizers. Compost is also earth-friendly. Our organic waste, like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings and leaves can be turned into something useful rather than needlessly filling up landfills where it’ll ultimately produce methane, the most damaging of greenhouse gases.

The Grounds Guys® gives you five easy steps to build your own compost pile:

Step 1: Select the right spot How To Make Your Own Compost Pile infographic
Find a dry, shady spot near a water source, like a water hose spigot. Try to keep the pile away from your garden and home, just in case the pile attracts pests. You don’t want critters eating the fruits and veggies in your garden or making themselves your houseguests!

Step 2: Give it some structure
If you’d like your pile to have some structure, you can use chicken wire or wire mesh to contain the pile. You can also use wood to build a composting box, or you can make your own composting bin.

Step 3: Toss your waste
Start adding an equal mix of “browns” — fallen leaves, dead plants and paper products — and “greens” — grass clippings, green plants, vegetable food scraps and coffee grounds.

Step 4: Sprinkle in a little moisture
Add enough water so that the compost mix is damp, but not soaked.

Step 5: Let nature take over
Once things have started decomposing (it will begin to change shape and color), mix in more browns and greens. Every time you add materials, add more moisture and turn the pile with a pitchfork. Turning the pile promotes aeration, an essential step in the decomposition process.

Your compost is ready to spread throughout your yard and garden when it is dark brown or black, soft, crumbly and earthy-smelling. Simply load a wheelbarrow with your compost, and distribute it with a shovel throughout your lawn. Use a rake to spread the compost into an even layer, and it will work itself into your soil.