The key to a thriving organic garden is to lay a foundation with a rich, organic soil. Soil that has been amended with organic material such as the kind found in compost is packed with nutrients that can make plants healthier.
Plants that are healthy and filled with nutrients have a greater ability to thrive on their own as well as to withstand infestation and diseases. To build good organic soil, amend it with finished compost.
Chop up all your organic wastes into 1-inch-square pieces. Grass and dead leaves can be shredded using a lawn mower. Newspaper may be cut using a paper shredder. Kitchen scraps may be reduced using garden shears.
Layer green and brown organic materials over one another in 4-inch-deep layers in the compost bin to form a pile that is no less than 3 feet deep and no more than 5 feet deep. The pile should be approximately 5 feet wide.
Wet the contents of the compost using a garden hose. Compost should be kept wet to the consistency of a damp sponge.
Check the internal temperature of your compost pile by inserting a cooking thermometer's probe into the center of the pile. The internal temperature of the pile should remain between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Turn the pile with a garden fork any time the internal temperature drops below 120 degrees. Make sure to shift the contents of the center of the pile to the outside, and the exterior contents to the center. The compost is finished when the pile is completely reduced to the consistency of dirt.
Break up the soil to a depth of 8 inches using a rototiller.
Spread the finished compost over the soil to a depth of 3 inches.
Turn the compost into the soil by running the rototiller over the soil again.