What exactly is a compost pit? Simply put, a compost pit means a dug hole specifically designed for making composts as convenient fertilizers. Compost pits are DIY MADE. Through the wonders of primitive composting, by just adding organic material, such as crushed leaves or food waste, you could turn such organic matter into fertilizer which you could use either around your garden or in your backyard.
How to Dig a Compost Pit?
Before starting off with this project, make sure that you have all the necessary equipment and supplies. First of all, dig a hole, one to three feet deep, with the help of a shovel or a spade. Make sure that your hole is not located near any water source. Dig a hole twice the width of your compost pit, and two times the depth. Keep in mind to dig the hole deeper than the timber would usually grow in, for instance half the depth would be the height of the tree and half the width of the pit.
After digging the compost pit, remove the soil. This is where the actual composting will take place. Place the excavated soil in the pit, covering it with a loose soil filled to the rim of the pit. Do not compact the soil while filling, and spread it evenly to make sure that the contents are well distributed. Place wooden poles or other materials on top of the soil, to help keep the contents firm.
The next step is to dig a hole twice the width and depth of the excavated area, and half as deep. Using your excavating equipment carefully dig a hole in the surrounding ground, making sure not to break through the organic waste itself. Once the hole is dug, cover the hole with sand and compact the soil using even sand, in order to make it compact.
Tools you need to use and how
Now it is time to gather all of the gardening tools you will need for your compost pit. It is ideal to have a large shovel for this job, but you may use a smaller hoe as well. Buy several small spades for digging holes, forks for separating the compost and turning it into meal, hoes to dig up the garden soil, and a wheelbarrow to move the material to the pit. If you don’t want to wear yourself out from carrying heavy bags of soil, bring along a pickax or forklift. And of course, bring the shovel.
Place all of the tools in one area to save room, and then start digging. The material that you will collect from your garden and yard can be any organic matter that is decaying, such as leaves, food scraps, etc. Most people prefer to collect the following material: straw, paper, wood chips, fallen leaves, grass clippings, etc. An important thing to remember while digging out this material is that the depth of the compost pit should be at least four feet to allow for the aerobic decomposition process to occur.
When the material has been dug up and placed in the compost pit, add two to three inches of high-carbon black soil mix to the bottom of the hole, making sure that it is packed firmly. Adding soil to the bottom of a compost pit allows for aerobic composting to take place without the soil turning or rotting when it comes in contact with the live bacteria found below. You should also consider adding some peat moss and vermiculite, which are both good options for creating a layer of soil on top of the compost.
Once you have added all of the aforementioned materials to the pit, cover it with a plastic tarp. Allow the material to sit for three to five days, then dig down about another four feet to expose the next phase of the activity. This time you should place pine needles and branches, crushed eggshells, sawdust, and organic matter such as leaves. Continue doing this for about four weeks before covering the compost pit again.
A compost pit is an environmentally friendly way of recycling organic waste products, such as garden clippings and leaves, into usable material for the garden. Just follow the instructions provided above to begin your own compost pit. By following these steps, you will be able to create organic fertilizers and soil for your garden today.