Could anybody give me some advice on how to start a compost pile? I don't have very much organic matter that would come from table scraps. So I'd have to use yard clippings and I was wondering if there was anything I could buy from stores to use as a suppliment, like those bags of organic humus. Also, do you cover it or leave it open? How often should you stir a small pile?
You definitely need organic material. If you can find some "green sand" (marl), and soft rock phosphate, add that with your organic material for long-term release of Potassium and Phosphorous, respectively.
Mulching is surely going to help along with good compost added with the marl and the soft rock p. Just push aside the decomposing mulch and plant.
I'm about 10-15 miles from the Gulf. I'm not sure of the salt content, how do you find that out. Stuff grows here though, it's just that after a certain amount of growth, it seems like alot of leaves fall off. I just moved in this house about 2 1/2 years ago. We've had a drought problem for about three years, I'm sure that has a part in the growth problems. This year seems to be off to a better start. But still I'd like to be able to make compost, every other week I throw out a garbage can full of yard waste.