Compost is an essential component for the success of an organic garden. Composting is also an effective way to use up kitchen scraps and yard waste. Follow the link to a step-by-step guide with pictures showing how to make organic compost.
In the picture above, you can see in the forefront- a tumbling compost bin. The tumbling process helps air to circulate and the contents to mix easily. Below is a close-up.
Next, the black bin is a stationary container for composting. I use these bins to dispose of scraps like egg shells, vegetable peelings and coffee grounds (no fat , oils or meat products) from the kitchen and various small yard trimmings. One of the great advantages of these types of composting bins is that they prevent vermin (like skunks, racoons and opossums) from getting into the compost and dragging it around the property.
In the far distance, you can see a pile of brush and yard trimmings that make up the rough stage compost. This rough stage pile consists of everything from small tree limbs and pine cones and needles to grass clippings and weeds. The heavier yard trimmings take longer to break down.
Each spring while I am cleaning the yard from the winter debris of pine cones, leaves and evergreen needles, I collect these and pile them in an out of the way area of the yard. As the season progresses, I add whatever yard debris comes along. The material in the compost bins tends to break down a little quicker as it is smaller and has a high nitrogen content. By adding limestone, manure and other organic material the process of decomposition is accelerated.
Wood chips and saw dust are also very useful for building up organic matter in the soil.
Manure is also helpful to the gardener. Well rotted horse manure is exceptional as a fertilizer and for adding to the compost to expedite the process of decomposition. Fresh (new) manure is deadly to crops because it is excessively high in nitrogen and burns vegetation and roots. Manure should be allowed to rot (decompose) for at least 1 year before it is usable in the garden. I am fortunate to have access to plenty of free well rotted manure. In the past 5 years that I have worked to develop this garden, I have added copious amounts to the main plot. I started with raw land that was covered with a heavy sod of field grasses and weeds. The soil beneath this sod was rocky and heavy clay. Clay is problematic for gardening as it does not drain well. Heavy clay soil needs to be lightened. By adding plenty of organic matter and using methods that build biomass this heavy soil can be made to drain well and retain high nutrient value.
You may refer to this article for a Complete Organic Fetlizer recipe.