St Charles County Master Gardeners
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Compost bins were constructed in 2006, but renovated this year from a passive to a more active system allowing additional air into the layers of brown and green debris gathered from area lawn and garden beds. Organic matter is ground up with a mulching mower before adding to the bins. Recording of compost temperatures with a long thermometer is done on a daily basis. After allowing the compost to settle for the first four days, the compost is flipped every two days to the adjacent bin. Water is added if the material appears too dry. The active compost cycle lasts 25 - 30 days as the temperature in the mass drops from 150-160 F to below 100 degrees F at completion. The finished product is added to vegetable beds to replenish the soil nutrients and organic matter in a process called sheet compost, where the compost is mixed in the top one to two inches of soil.