Compost maintenance ideas

For keeping pests (crows, coons, opossums, cats, dogs) out of your compost pile I have two suggestions; A length of chicken wire on top of the pile – weigh it down with a brick or cinderblock – will keep critters out and let rain in.

At our house I do not put kitchen scraps in the compost – we feed all kitchen scraps except egg shells directly to the hens. That way I don’t have to keep ‘old’ scraps in the kitchen – each day or every other the fresh scraps go to the hens, who love them. I then can compost the chicken litter with no fear of critters digging in my compost.

As for the egg shells you do not want to feed eggs shells to the hens as it can get them in the habit of eating their eggs! Instead as I use eggs I collect the shells in a can in my kitchen, crushing them down as they build up – and a couple a times a year I mash all the shells, spread them on a large cookie sheet to dry in the sun or in a slow oven, and once they are very dry and brittle I crush them very fine and then add them to the compost. The critters are not attracted and the shells get recycled.

All the best as the spring arrives and gardening season opens!

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