The Q&A Archives: composting

Question: I've started composting in a small rotator drum. I used 1/2 green & 1/2 dried chopped leaves, some hummus/manure & a shoveful of soil, & dampened the mixture. So far the miixture isn't cooking. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: The material should be moist - like a wrung out sponge - and it should be turned every few days to incorporate air. As soon as it has the right conditions it should begin decomposing. Pull out a handful to make sure it's moist enough. If not, add water. If it is too wet, rotate the drum to mix everything together well and to incorporate some air. It should start cooking within a few days of being mixed together, especially since you've added manure. If nothing happens in a week or so, toss in a little nitrogen fertilizer to help heat things up. Then, just give it some time....

Good luck with your compost.

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