The size of your ring can be whatever suits your needs. I wouldn't go any smaller than 3 feet in diameter, however, or it's just too small to hold much material. Try to keep your layers between 3 and 6 inches thick, otherwise compaction occurs and you won't get good decomposition of the material. For the best results you want an even moisture content throughout the pile. As you build the pile you can add more moisture with a hose, as necessary. Dry leaves will require a lot of water, fresh mowed grass none at all. Kitchen green wastes won't require too much additional moisture either. There are differing thoughts on the necessity of turning the pile. In my experience, you need to turn the pile to have even moisture content as well as aerate for the fastest decomposition and odor free pile. There are die-hards who build it and leave it. If you've got lots of space and time for that, "no touch" piles are fine. If space is at a premium and you have a lot of material to feed through the pile, then turning is the way to go.
Originally Posted by morcolt
A couple tips:
- Adding soil to the pile will add microbes and good things to help decomposition.
- Adding manure increases the nitrogen content which is vital for decomposition.
- Build your pile to fill your container, then leave it (other than weekly or bi-monthly turning ). If you've got more material, start a new pile. If you keep adding material, you'll never have finished material.
- Compost completes in about 2 to 6 months, depending on conditions. Completed compost can be used as is or screened. The screenings can be used for fertilizing lawns, gardens, and plants. Larger materials can be returned to the bin for further composting.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!