Composting at home is a key step to establishing a healthy garden, nourishing plants with essential nutrients and improving soil quality. The best part? You can make this incredible garden booster right at home!
What is Compost?
Composting is the process of breaking down organic materials, like food scraps and yard waste, into a nutrient-rich material, which is used as a natural fertilizer to enrich soil and promote plant growth.
A Quick Word on Cold Composting vs. Hot Composting: There are two composting methods to explore—cold composting, a laid-back approach that lets nature work its magic over a year, and hot composting, a faster option that decomposes within 1–3 months.
|Things You’ll Need to Get Started:||Instructions:|
|A compost bin||Step 1: Find the Perfect Composting Spot|
|Some brown stuff (leaves, dry yard debris, you name it)||Step 2: Choose Your Composting Bin Adventure|
|Green stuff (kitchen scraps, lawn trimmings – think organic goodness)||Step 3: Fill with Green and Brown Material|
|A trusty shovel||Step 4: TLC for Your Thriving Pile|
|And water||Step 5: The Grand Finale – Ready to Use!|
How to Compost at Home
Step 1: Find the Perfect Spot for Composting at Home
Choose a sunny or shady location, with sunny spots accelerating the decay process. Keep the compost away from structures for easy turning.
Step 2: Choose Your Composting Bin Adventure
Opt for a pre-made composting bin for quick setup or embrace DIY spirit with a tailor-made wooden compost bin. Pile-on-the-ground is an option, but beware of unwelcome rodent guests!
Step 3: Make Your Compost and Fill
How to Make Compost
Layer your compost bin with brown material at the bottom—leaves, branches, wood shavings, straw or even cardboard and newspaper! If needed, add a thin layer of garden soil. Then, toss in green material like vegetable scraps, fruits, coffee grounds and more.
Tip: Avoid emptying meat scraps, bones, oils and fats into your compost bin.
- If you’re following the cold composting method, continue adding green materials until it reaches a depth of 4–6 inches. From here, add another layer of brown material on top of the compost. Continue alternating the layers as you fill your bin to a depth of 6 inches of material each time.
- Alternatively, when using the hot composting method, start by combining brown and green materials for a mixture of three parts brown material and one part green material.
Finally, sprinkle water on the mixture regularly so that it is constantly damp.
Step 4: TLC for Your Thriving Pile
For cold composters, stir every two weeks to let air reach and decompose the materials.
Hot composters, stir once a week.
Tip: Use a thermometer to determine your hot compost’s temperature, as it’s best to stir when it reaches 130–150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water hot compost regularly, but cold compost generally requires watering only in dry weather.
Continue filling the bin with green material until the bin is full or when you are ready for the composting process to complete.
Step 5: The Grand Finale – Ready to Use!
Once your compost turns dark brown and dry, it’s time to put it to work! Spread one to three inches of compost in your garden beds at the start of each growing season or sprinkle it on potted plants. Watch your garden flourish with a burst of growth and vitality!
There you have it, composting champions! Embrace this joyous and rewarding adventure, one compost bin at a time. Let’s turn discarded scraps into a garden wonderland! Happy composting, green heroes!