I have never seen the sense in spending hundreds of dollars on composting equipment when the best techniques require a minimal investment . If we are as similar as I believe we are, you plainly don't have the assets to go about composting this way...

...But what if I could tell you there was an trouble-free, inexpensive, very valuable option at your disposal?

The method I use by design includes something you should be using in any practice you employ: straw bales.

If you have any straw bales handy, you can use them to make a very efficient compost bin. In case you don't have some bales laying around they are very inexpensive and a terrific resource that you should purchase anyway. Here is how I make the most of the straw to produce a simple compost bin.

So here's what you do. Stack the bales 2 high on three sides, making a simple enclosure so that you can store your waste. I leave one face open so I can easily turn it every few weeks or so, but you could just as easily make it a 4 sided corral. It is probably best to start out smaller, so 8-12 bales is ideal for you to begin with. Think of this,at the back of the pen you want 2-3 bales in a line, stacked 2 layers tall. To the right and left of the front face you should have 2 bales, one bale deep, one stacked on top of the other. Now you have a fixed enclosure and a structure that can retain heat and moisture very efficiently.

Straw bales are great not only for holding the compost, but also retaining moisture and temperature, speeding up the process. You will get more effectiveness out of this system if you layer your waste between soil or other types of waste. In time, the bales will decompose along with your kitchen and yard waste; perfect to include in your new straw bale system made from new bales. Just add to the pile whenever you have organic waste, and nature will do the rest!

In every method of composting, the elements and how they mix are very important. A mixture of green matter, brown waste, and manure is perfect for producing strong compost. Green matter should include grass clippings, kitchen scraps, weeds, or flowers. Brown matter includes any older and dead garden waste, paper products, sawdust, or old leaves. Be sure to layer these materials with soil, or feel free to add manure or older compost in place of soil to give your compost an extra boost by increasing the amount of microorganisms and worms to the mix. Covering the pile with manure from grazing animals is a great way to keep critters away from your compost heap. If you layer appropriately and involve the types of waste I mentioned above, you are on the right track to a successful compost heap. The next step is to keep the heap nice and moist.

Keeping the pile nice and damp is as key for success as it is necessary to keep the smell down. Keeping the heap moist and warm is the single best way to keep the smell at a minimum and enable all the micro-organisms to kick start the composting process. A warm and moist compost pile is absolutely necessary to help the bacteria and worms do their part in breaking down this organic waste and making nutrient rich fertilizer.

Keeping your pile in a spot where you can make the most of the heat from the sun is also necessary for the straw bale method to work. The straw bale method works so well because it naturally retains the heat and kicks your efforts into overdrive.

Follow these directions and in a few months you can get high quality compost! Just remember; straw bales, layer, heat, moisture. Following these simple steps will produce high potency fertilizer that your garden will thank you for.

Learn more about: Straw Bale Compost and Compost Made Simple. Oh, and thanks so much for taking a look at our Straw Bale Compost Bin

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