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It is early Spring in my Wisconsin yard and garden clean up has begun.  It is time to start a new compost pile.  Cutting back perennials and raking some dried leaves from the gardens gives me plenty of BROWN MATTER to start a new compost pile.

The first thing I do to start out my new compost pile is select the sunniest area I can find.  Second is I lay cardboard or ½” thick black & white newspaper sheets on the selected area.  Making sure you overlap (by 4”-5”) so no weeds or grass can enter your new compost pile.  Water this layer of cardboard/newspaper thoroughly.  This layer attracts WORMS and WORMS are a gardeners best friend.  On top of this cardboard/newspaper layer I add the TWIGGY stuff I cut down.  Next I add all the other cuttings of the dried flowers, perennials and leaves.  Every compost pile needs BROWNS & GREENS.  I added some of my kitchen ‘green scraps’.   We have A LOT of brown matter on this pile, I don’t have much green matter to add.  So now the special  GREEN MATTER enters the picture.  HUMAN URINE!  Human urine is high in nitrogen and is the perfect additive to our very brown compost pile.   I do not take any drugs so my urine is quite organic.  FREE & SIMPLE.  Each time I add more brown matter to my compost pile, I also add HUMAN URINE.  How much you ask?  The ratio is usually 4 parts brown to 1 part green.  My new compost pile is only around 5’x5’x2’, so I added a gallon of HUMAN URINE.  If it doesn’t rain make sure you keep this pile moist.  If it rains too long, I cover my compost pile with plastic.  I don’t want it too wet, all the nutrients can leech out.  In a month or so you can turn the pile.  If you are old (like me) or just don’t want to take the time you can just poke your pitch fork down into the pile and lift up, creating air pockets in the pile.  This helps it break down faster.  If you don’t want to turn or poke the pile, nature will do o.k. without this process, it will just take longer.

Have fun my gardening friends.  LET GARDENING SEASON BEGIN!

Building a ‘No Turn’ Compost Pile

Building a ‘No Turn’ Compost Pile


I am a Wisconsin gardener. In late Spring I start a new compost pile that I continue to add material weekly, sometimes daily, until November. I DO NOT turn this compost pile. It does become a HOT COMPOST PILE. I alternate layers of green, brown and WATER.

1. Grass clippings (no chemicals), shredded newspaper (black & white), water, shovel full of old compost or soil, clippings of garden flowers/veggies etc., cardboard, junk mail, water. Add kitchen scraps: coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, fruit, veggies. Tissue, napkins, paper towel.

2. Make sure you water in between the layers you add. During the hot weather I make sure a water more often. You don’t want it to dry out.

3. I cover my pile with clear plastic so the raccoons are less likely to dig in it. Also, it keeps the pile hotter. This time of the season I am doing a lot of deadheading, cutting back and pulling out, so I am adding to the compost pile daily. Making sure I put a layer the browns (cardboard, junk mail, newspaper or dried leaves) over my greens. Don’t forget to water.

4. Nature will do the decomposing. I don’t have the strength to turn it and by next summer it will be finished.

5. Make sure you locate your compost pile in a spot that gets full sun. The less sun it gets the slower the decomposing will take.

Composting keeps a lot of waste out of our landfills and rewards us with BLACK GOLD. Have fun!