What is the fastest way to compost pines and ash?
I have a lot of pines and wood burning fireplace for ash. What is the fastest way to compost these? I am making compost for my garden and I live in Show Low, AZ where the growing season is short and the winters very cold (5 degrees at night). I want to work with what I have, pine needles and wood ash. I would like to have some compost for next spring and I have a tumbler composter. How do I compost these two together, relative amounts, etc.?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Chopping the needles up as fine as possible will help significantly. If they are brown needles, you will need a green material like food scraps to balance it out. The ratio is 4:1, browns to greens. The ash can be added in, but is considered to be a neutral element in balancing compost.
Keeping the tumbler in as warm a place as you can find will be helpful. Composting happens best in warm environments. In your area, even just getting it out of the wind will help speed up the process.
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