Make sure your location is level and in partial shade. 4'x4' palettes make a perfect square and are excellent compost bin walls.
Straw (not hay). Using straw as your first layer keeps your pile off the ground and keeps out weeds and pests. You can get straw at your local garden center.
Garden plants, kitchen scraps, equine stable bedding, and manure.
Periodically sprinkle in compost with good bacteria as it helps speed up the process.
Shredded leaves. Shredding is good but not entirely necessary.
Keep on layering in straw for air flow.
Repeat as necessary.
Finish with manure, compost, and lock in with straw so the pile cooks from the bottom up. This also keeps animals and smells out. Water in once in the fall — in summer water as needed to keep the pile moist. Turn every 1-2 weeks. The more turning the faster it will make compost.
Your can use cornstalks for extra aeration. Remember, the more manure, grass, and leaves the faster the process.
Want a really fast cooking compost pile?
Here's all you need:
- 1/3 horse manure
- 2/3 leaves or grass If you don't have ready access to a barnyard, substitute a high N product, such as blood meal.