Building the Compost Pile
To start a compost pile, mix roughly fifty percent carbon rich materials with fifty percent nutrient rich materials. Keep reading for an explanation of carbon rich and nutrient rich materials.
Carbon rich materials are also referred to as brown materials. It is easier to think of carbon rich materials as dead or dry materials. Carbon rich materials are items such as dry leaves, dead dry plants, wood ash, wood chips, saw dust, egg shells, nutshells, straw, hay, and dirt.
Nutrient rich materials are also referred to as green materials. It is easier to think of nutrient rich materials as live or wet materials. Nutrient rich materials are items such as animal feces, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, grass clippings, fresh plants, coffee grounds, tea bags, and fresh leaves.
Common materials used to start a compost pile are: dried leaves, fresh grass clippings, and soil. After the compost pile is built, water the compost pile with enough water to make it damp. Covering the compost pile with a tarp or other cover is recommended. A covered compost pile holds moisture better (compost needs moisture), keeps compost warmer (compost needs heat), and is protected from pests.
If still confused, this article offers more information on what materials you can compost and the difference between green and brown.