Composting - Knowledgebase Question

Tucson, Ar
Question by jrkwal
September 30, 2009
I have been putting my clippings and kitchen veggie cast offs in a metal bathtub. I keep it covered with wood and water and turn it. It seems that it is not breaking down as quickly as I thought it would. What am I missing to speed things up?
Thank you
Marylee Zone 8a

Answer from NGA
September 30, 2009


You need to incorporate more air in order to speed up the decomposition. Even though you are turning it, you may need to turn it more often - every few days if possible. Move everything around with a garden fork. I'd also suggest covering it with hardware cloth rather than wood. This will also increase air movement and help moisture evaporate to get everything cooking. Wood is okay during the hot summer months to help keep things moist but now that the weather is cooling off, hardware cloth is a better option. One more trick of the trade - sprinkle a shovelful of soil over the top and work it into the compost. Soils contain lots of good microbes which will jump-start the decomposition process. Hope you see an improvement soon!

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