A Plain Old Compost Pile
The Compost Pile
If you have room, and an out of the way place to use, a simple pile of materials will rot down slowly and quietly, giving you well ripened slow compost. A quiet corner under some trees or in an unused chicken pen is ideal.
The main drawback to using this method is that it generally doesn't get hot enough to kill all the seeds - and as you can see, sometimes you'll get volunteer tomatoes and squash appearing.
You can use fallen leaves, horse manure and kitchen scraps to start your pile, just make sure that if you have a dog or other pets that they can't get to it - they'll scatter it around and eat the tasty half rotted bits; not a pleasant sight.
I find that this type of pile will start out seeming incredibly large, and over the course of a summer will lose over half of its volume. This doesn't mean that there are no nutrients though. I'll use this for compost tea, where it doesn't matter if there are seeds still viable in it, or to start worm bins or other compost bins. Digging into it reveals a whole eco system of red wiggler worms and many of their eggs.
A top dressing of this nutrient rich compost around shrubs and trees, on lawns and as a fall addition to your vegetable garden will produce healthy happy plants as it is assimilated into the soil
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