When you make your own compost in either a structured bin or a pile, the process involves mixing both brown and green ingredients to create rich, black compost. Brown materials are high in carbon, and these materials include dried leaves, hay and straw. Green materials are high in nitrogen, and these materials include grass clippings, manure and kitchen scraps. Often when a gardener is beginning a compost pile, he adds a compost activator to jump-start the composting process. Instead of buying a compost activator, make your own compost activator with a simple recipe.
Layer the brown materials into the compost bin first. After the brown materials, add a layer of green materials.
Measure out either one bucket of mature compost, animal manure or bone meal and add this to the top of the compost pile as an effective compost activator.
Cover the compost activator layer with another layer of brown material. Always leave a layer of brown material on top of the compost bin to reduce the number of insects that buzz around the compost pile and reduce odours.
Add enough water to the compost so it is moist. Do not waterlog the compost and make it soggy.
Plain garden soil is also a beneficial ingredient to add to compost bins. Because garden soil contains organic organisms, it will hasten the decomposing process within the compost bin. Garden soil may also contain earthworms, which help mix compost within a bin.