Using the right ingredients and mixing, mashing, moistening, and moving them will help speed the composting. But there is one more ideal condition, and that is mass. The more bulk you have in your pile (up to a certain point), the faster it will compost or decompose. If your pile is taller than 4 feet, you'll have a hard time adding new ingredients. If the area is larger than 4x4, the air will have trouble getting into the center where all the action is and the white-hat, good-guy microbes will turn into the black-hat, bad-guy microbes and the pile will start to decompose anaerobically (without air) and start to smell. If you don't have enough bulk—smaller than 3X3, your pile will just sit there and do nothing except cry out, "I'm going to wait for Mother Nature."
We keep calling it a pile, and you may wonder if it will be ugly and messy. But the pile can be contained very nicely with a homemade or store-bought container called a composter. (Oh no! Another name!)
So now, I'm going to be composting my compost in my composter.
Way back when I wrote my first book on SFG, I had no idea people would be so confused about composting until I realized that only 10 percent of gardeners actually compost, another 10 percent don't ever want to compost, and the middle 80 percent say they would like to but are confused and scared by the process. Of course, much of that confusion is from not knowing how to compost aerobically. Lets summarize.
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