How to Make Composted Soil?

03 Dec

Here is a fantastic recipe to make composted soil. Your trees, shrubs, perennials, vegetables and annuals will love you tremendously for providing rich composted soil for their root systems. If you think composting is a waste of time, look at the 2 trees below.


The maple tree to the left of the gentleman and to the right (on the slope) are the same age. The maple to the right has been planted in composted soil that was tilled into the existing soil. This tree has clearly grown 400% faster than the maple tree planted without composted soil to the left. This significant difference is worth giving compost a shot.


In Greensboro, North Carolina many homeowners have plenty of space to designate to a compost area. The dimensions to think about

  • never exceed 4 to 6 feet in height
  • it should measure at least 3 feet in height, 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep

Location of bin or pile

  • close to a water source
  • part shade here in the southeast (needs to stay moist)
  • close to a road if moving compost by vehicle

Ingredients of compost pile or bin

  • vegetable and fruit waste
  • coffee grounds
  • egg shells
  • leaves
  • grass clippings
  • straw and hay
  • sawdust (thin layers)
  • animal waste
  • newspapers (shredded)
  • grill residues
  • old annuals and vegetable plants
  • fish tank sludge

Ingredients never to use

  • dog and cat waste (parasites)
  • meat, grease and fat
  • weeds with seeds
  • large branches
  • colored or coated paper
  • charcoal or coal

Composting means to speed up the decomposition process to weeks instead of months. In order to move things along at a faster pace

  • keep the compost pile moist
  • combining different types of organic matter (green, brown, manure) by layering
  • ventilating your compost pile adding needed oxygen (turning pile) when the thermometer placed in center reaches 150 degrees F

Arrangement of layers for composting

  • 8-12 inches of your garbage, lawn trimmings or green organic matter is the first layer on the soil
  • 2 inches of materials high in nitrogen like manure, coffee grounds, blood meal, urea, fertilizer 10-6-4 or alfalfa
  • 2-3 inches of calcium rich matter like wood ashes from your fireplace or chiminea, egg shells, soil or finished compost
  • then water and keep moist

Repeat these layers until desired height and remember the finer the materials are shredded or mulched, the quicker the decomposition. Plus, if you see earthworms in your pile, you are on the right track.

Good luck and happy composting!!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation

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Posted by on December 3, 2008 in Greensboro Gardens


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