You know that old saying..well if it had of been a rattler I'd be in the emergency room. Several days ago when I opened the compost been I nearly screamed .....there was a HUGE RATTLE snake laying under the lid on the edge just lookin' at me. I dropped the lid really fast and screamed for my son...it looked looked like a rattle snake and I knew I had to find it fast. I kicked over the bin and got a rake and started stirring the contents around and there it was..the huge rattlesnake was actually A TEXAS RAT SNAKE. We caught snakey and put him in a jar and let him go down Country Road 106. Snakes can be very scary due to the fear of the dreaded rattle snake bite and all the gory details involved. I believe snakes have a purpose but they can take it elsewhere. It took me several days to get over the compost bin deal but I'm back to composting and recommend it to all gardeners.
* Basically you want to have approximately 50% “green” materials (wet, fresh) and 50% “brown” (dry).
* You can compost all sorts of things: fruit and veggie trimmings, yard waste, shredded paper towels, mulch/sawdust/shavings, shredded cardboard, newspaper(no colored pages just black and white, lint from your dryer, feathers, etc. You just throw them in the bin and the microbes do the rest. If your bin doesn’t touch the ground you’ll need to throw some soil in it so it has microbes.
* Ideally you need to keep it as moist as a wrung out sponge. I will open the lid when it rains to help out with this. It it hasn't rained for awhile I use the hose.
* I mostly just want to have a great garden turn out so I just toss stuff in and stir it (2-4 times per year). If you want compost more frequently you can stir every 2 weeks or so. You don’t want to stir too often because the compost heats up as part of the mechanism of the bacteria that breaks to food down and the process stops if you stir it too soon and it loses heat.
* Compost bins can attract critters (like ants, other assorted bugs, mice and, apparently, snakes). Always approach your bin with caution.