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How can I Make Compost?

I want to make compost, but I have no idea no how to start.

- Ed from Chino Valley

Ed, when you collect yard waste from pruning, lawn mowing and weeding, instead of throwing it away, you can use it to make compost that enriches your garden beds. Start by making a pile with alternating layers of green and brown matter. Turn the pile every week, keep it moist and over a period of two or three months, depending on the weather, the pile will heat up and transform itself into rich, crumbly black compost. Mix it into your gardens soil to improve the soils texture, fertility and ability to hold water and air.

You should include grass clippings, dead leaves, branches from pruning and fruit and vegetable kitchen waste. Do not add diseased plants, plant parts that contain thorns, weed seed heads, meat, fat or bones from kitchen waste or dog or cat waste. Chop or shred everything as finely as possible – 1 to 2 inch pieces are good to speed decomposition.

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