Why in thunder should you want to create a compost pile on your property? Well, if you’re a bird watcher or butterfly enthusiast (or like me, answer to both names), the reason is clear: It’ll provide you with many bird and butterfly watching opportunities. Compost piles attract a beautiful and colorful crowd. A compost pile is filled with worms, bugs, and beetles – things sure to attract and please everything from robins to butterflies.
As a great bonus, compost is an ideal way to reuse, restore, and recycle. Compost changes garden trash to garden (and wildlife) treasure. You’re giving garden weeds, veggie and fruit scraps and dead leaves a new lease on life.
Keeping a simple compost pile is such a wonderful idea – and one that you’ll enjoy so much – you’ll wonder why you hadn’t created a compost pile sooner.
Something else for birders to keep in mind, birds come to compost piles in late spring and early summer for the great deals they can find for nest building! Blue jays, robins, mockingbirds, cardinals – you’ll find nearly every sort of bird imaginable (the nest builders, anyway) shopping in your compost pile for just the right twigs, stems, leaves, and grasses.
Now just tell me that’s not enticing.
How to Create Your Own Compost Pile
Pick out an area of your yard that will become your compost pile – your own Nest Depot, if you will. To build a simple compost pile, here’s all you need:
- A low pile of twigs on well-drained ground.
On top of the pile of twigs, pile up layers – several inches thick – with dry brown materials such as straw, dead grass, and/or leaves. Cover each brown layer with a thin layer of fresh green clippings such as weeds and vegetable scraps.
Water each layer enough to make it damp.
When the pile is 3 feet square by 3 feet tall, top it off with a brown layer (why does this process make me think of making lasagna?) and allow the decomposing to begin. Sift the finished compost before you use it – pulling out the undecomposed ingredients for starting a new pile.
To speed up the composting process, use a garden fork to turn and “fluff” the materials every week or two. This increases the biological activity in the compost and will speed the process along.