Ctwhyexit
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Composting tips for a newbie

Hello,
I stay on the east coast of the U.S. where the temps have started to creep up to 90s (35c). I'm looking to start my own compost pile and have gone through a lot of YouTube videos and sites like helpful gardener.
My question is this. If I till my 8 x 4 about 6 inches deep and put a mix of grass clippings and fine wood chips and then top it off with the soil I tilled, will that make compost in a few months.? I'm concerned of smell as I have neighbors close by and do not want to put them off. Once this ready I can start to plant my veg plants and go from there.
What do you all think.

Thanks!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Composting tips for a newbie

A properly managed compost pile will have NO smell even when you are standing next to it.

It sounds like you are talking about something different than a compost pile though, maybe more like lasagna gardening. So the idea is after you bury your compostables and let them break down for a few months, you will plant in that area?

I'm not sure grass clippings and wood chips are a good mix. You have the idea of "greens" and "browns," nitrogen heavy and carbon heavy. But ideally you want greens and browns breaking down together. Your grass clippings will be breaking down by themselves and will be long gone before the wood chips start breaking down. I know you said "fine" wood chips, but really it would need to be more like saw dust.

Grass clippings and sawdust would work together, but still it is a very limited mix. Good compost that will feed your garden with everything it needs, is made from a variety of materials. As a rule of thumb we say no more than 10% of your pile should be any one ingredient. Yours sounds like it will be 50-50. What about all your kitchen scraps- left overs from cooking, left overs from your plates, stuff that stayed in the fridge too long? What about pulled weeds and garden trimmings, deadheaded flowers, etc? For browns along with the sawdust, you could use fall leaves when they are available, straw, shredded paper, etc
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Ctwhyexit
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Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:41 pm

Re: Composting tips for a newbie

Thank you for your reply.
Yes, I meant putting the ingredients for compost in a garden bed that we will use for planting vegetables. I was reading about Lasagna gardening and is interesting too.
I will explore these options and see which fits best.

Thanks!

toxcrusadr
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Re: Composting tips for a newbie

I would make the compost pile on top of the soil if you're not planning on growing in it this season. Just add browns and greens as you have them. I have made plenty of compost with grass clippings, leaves and sawdust/wood shavings/wood chips. The smaller the wood bits the better, as they do take some time. Mix the materials as much as you can. Especially with regard to grass clippings, which will try to mat down and exclude air.
Tox

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