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Gardener seeks advice after sharing photo of mistake made in compost pile: 'I'm pretty new at this whole thing'

"Any ideas?"

"Any ideas?"

Photo Credit: iStock

A Reddit user's cry for help about their slow-to-heat compost pile is striking a chord with fellow composters, who are chiming in with tips, tricks, and words of encouragement.

In the r/composting community, the original poster shared a photo of their lumpy compost heap, explaining: "I started it back in November and it never really got hot in all of this time so this spring I started adding grass clippings on top? I also added a bit of milorganite? Any ideas?"

"Any ideas?"
Photo Credit: Reddit

The post has garnered dozens of helpful replies from supportive composters.

"I'm pretty new at this whole thing myself (less than a year). I tried layering, but instead, I just make sure to mix it up real well," said another new composter. "I also probably spend more time mixing it up [than] most people do. My method works really well for me ..."

Others pointed out that a cold compost pile is not necessarily a problem.

As one commenter noted: "It's decomposing, but not at a rate that creates discernible heat. That's ok. Hot composting is only one method. Slow composting works just fine."

Others shared clever hacks to kick-start a sluggish compost pile, such as this gem: "Turn the pile and pee in it. That 'liquid gold' really gets the composting started. Something about the nitrogen in it has an exothermic reaction causing it to start heating up. Turn to mix, add worms."

Composting is just one way eco-conscious homeowners can save money and time while helping the planet. Another is replacing water-guzzling lawns with native plants, clover, buffalo grass, or xeriscaping.

These eco-friendly lawn alternatives require less maintenance and water than traditional turf, translating to lower bills and a healthier yard. Native plants, in particular, create vital habitats for pollinators like bees and butterflies, which play a crucial role in our food supply.

The combination of composting and ditching the traditional lawn is a win-win for your wallet and the environment. Compost enriches the soil, while native plants and lawn alternatives conserve water and support biodiversity.

As the Reddit replies demonstrate, you don't have to be a composting pro or have a perfect pile to make a difference. Every little bit helps, and there's a wealth of community knowledge to tap into when you need troubleshooting help.

So turn that compost pile and maybe add some strategic "liquid gold." Your garden — and the planet — will thank you. And while you're at it, consider replacing some of that thirsty lawn with eco-friendly alternatives.

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