Fast Cooking Compost Pile

Check out our step-by-step guide to cooking up your own compost.

November 26, 2010

Here's how to make compost fast!

Make sure your location is level and in partial shade. 4'x4' palettes make a perfect square and are excellent compost bin walls.  


First layer
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.

Second layer
Garden plants, kitchen scraps, equine stable bedding, and manure.

Periodically sprinkle in compost with good bacteria as it helps speed up the process.

Third layer
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.

Special Hints
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.

 Turn kitchen scraps into super-fertile soil!  Learn more.

New for your e-reader or tablet: Compostology 1-2-3.