Since my ex-neighbour gave me a compost bin ten years ago, I have not managed to manufacture any usable compost for my garden. Initially, I thought the problem could be the lack of earthworms. I had put in my lawn cuttings, dried leaves, fruit peels and any other organic stuff. Although I see the level sinking, no compost is formed.
Today in the Life! section, there is an instruction in manufacturing your own compost which I’m reproducing here for my own record.
Anaerobic (without oxygen) composting takes place when you bury kitchen waste in the ground. This process requires three to six months to complete, dependning on myriad factors and environmental conditions.
Kitchen waste consisting of fruit peels and vegetable scraps is considered ‘green’ material.
You could try to faster aerobic composting process by putting scraps in a container with holes drilled into the sides. (My bin!)
Remember to add in "browns" such as dried leaves in your compost pile to ensure a healthy carbon-nitrogen ratio. (what C/N ratio?)
All materials added to the pile should be shredded into bits. (didn’t do that!)
Aerate your compost by turning it weekly. This directly introduces oxygen into the pile, accelerating the composting process. (I thought it was meant to be anaerobic?)
The compost is ready when the material are broken down to form a brown, friable mix. It should smell earthy.
I’m more now confused then ever!