Making homemade compost can seem like a daunting task. But if you use this compost pit method, the process can be rewarding. There is no need for expensive hardware or fancy inocula. With a few garden tools, a little initial effort and a quick turn over every couple of weeks, you can make compost in your yard. So grab your shovel and follow these steps to make a compost pit.
Select a piece of ground that gets both sunlight and partial shade during the day. Mark a square on the ground that is at least 3-by-3 feet.
Dig out the marked area to a depth of at least 6 inches. Pile the removed soil near an edge of the pit to add back into the pit later. Remove and discard stones, roots and debris from both the pit and the stacked soil.
Deposit household scraps, garden clippings, coffee grounds and other fresh organic material into the center of the compost pit. Add in dried leaves, chopped twigs, brown organic material and small amounts of shredded brown cardboard.
Turn the contents of the pit with a pitchfork every two weeks. Heap the material to the center of the pit each time. Add a shovel full of the set-aside soil into to the compost each time you turn it. Poke holes in the stack with a long sharp stick, providing places for air to reach the inner layers.
Maintain a state of dampness by sprinkling water on the pit contents if they become dry in the summer months. Cover the pit with black plastic during rainy spells to keep from getting soggy. Hold down the edges of the black plastic with heavy bricks or stones.
Use the compost when it is thoroughly decomposed and crumbly. Mix into soil for nutrient rich organic gardening or place around established plants.