If you like to garden or have nice flower beds, a compost pile is a great source of free organic fertilizer. Fall is the best time to start a compost pile because the most important ingredients are readily available. A good compost pile needs nitrogen rich material and carbon rich material. In the fall your lawn clippings are a great source of nitrogen and leafs are a great source of carbon. By spring you will have a start to endless free fertilizer that will make your plants grow. I am still working on my green thumb so you should look to the experts to help you get things going correctly. I found a lot of my information about building a compost pile from the University of Illinois.
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