Valley Permaculture Alliance


Today I started my first compost pile.


I'm using Waste Management's free bin and added the following:

1. Todays grass clippings

2. 6 orange & 3 lemon rinds from this mornings juice.

3. A small grocery bag full of shredded mail.

4. A couple of shovels full of dirt.


Have a already screwed it up??? or am I off to a good start???

Suggestions appreciated :)


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Replies to This Discussion

So glad you asked this question as I, too, place my rinds in the compost pile.  Could you expand on the shredded mail?  Is this newspaper type mail, white paper and/or glossy paper? 
No glossy paper just old bills and such.

Will do...Thanks Chris :)

Thanks everyone.  We just moved here from Colorado about a year ago so there are many things that we need to learn about gardening in this type of climate. 

I'm so glad to learn about paper and citrus rinds in the compost pile; I didn't think that could go in there. I also have only moved here in July, and I've yet to keep my compost pile wet enough.No matter how often I water, it never seems enough. But the one thing I've added more of recently is coffee grounds and that really has helped keep the moisture content higher in the pile.

What about corn cobs that my hen has pecked clean? If I break them up will they be good in the pile?

Good question!

We just threw them (corn cobs) in with the whole kit-and-kaboodle this May and I can't recall seeing them recently....must have worked!

I think what, and how fast things break down depends on the pile, how active and large it is. To really get it cooking seems like at least a 3' x 3' size works best. 5' x 5' even better. Moisture is key in the summer here too. We compost citrus all the time. If you are gonna eat grapefruit where else would it go? ;)



Regarding the issue of keeping the compost pile wet, if you have a drip system set up in your yard, run a drip-line through the pile, our compost ate up a Christmas tree in just over a year.

Wow!! Thats cool...I'll have to give that a try. 

Thanks for the reply.


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