composting garden
Lifestyle

A Beginners Guide to Home Composting

Have you ever wanted to compost to save money for your garden and improve your environment, but you haven’t a clue how or where to start? Here is a comprehensive post that I’m sure will help you get started in the right direction!

Composting your kitchen and garden waste is a great way to reduce the amount of trash you dispose of in your garbage can. It is also a great way to get your kids involved. When you compost you will develop a free start of rich compost that will do wonders for your garden. It can also help to lessen global warming.

How does composting help to slow down global warming?

When sent to the disposal area, organic material is squeezed under immense amounts of other types of waste.  Because it’s trapped underneath, organic waste does not have the ability to obtain air, therefore restricting the waste from being able to decay properly.  Instead of decomposing, methane gas is formed which contributes to global warming.

Setting up your compost bin

It is important to create or purchase a compost bin.  You can also make your own. Most people use pallets or other containers that can easily be obtained from most local businesses. Compost bins can be bought from the majority of nurseries, landscaping companies, and even online. Check with your local recycling agency or local greenhouses.

Where do I place my compost bin?

The next critical step is to decide where you wish to place your compost bin. This is critical, as it can affect the long-term condition of the compost that is produced. Place your bin in a well-drained area that has excellent access to sunlight. The drainage will allow excess water to drain out of the compost. Putting the bin in a sunny location enables the composting process.

What can I put in my compost bin?

Just about anything can go into your compost bin. These are categorized into greens and browns. Greens provide moisture and nitrogen that are quick to rot. Greens can be grass cuttings, vegetable peelings, leaves, fruit, tea bags, spent coffee and coffee filters and weeds.

Browns take longer to break down but provide pockets of air, along with filament and carbon. Some examples of browns are cardboard boxes (they need to be cut fairly small), ripped up newspapers, toilet and paper towel tubes, crushed eggshells, and small tree limbs. You can even compost Q-Tips, as long as the stem isn’t plastic!

What makes a good quality compost? 

To make great compost, you need to monitor your greens and browns. The process is simple: If it’s too moist, add browns. If it’s too dry, add more green. Please note that you should not put fecal matter from cats and dogs, as they usually eat foods rich in proteins. Cattle, sheep, goat, and chicken manure are excellent additions to compost. Here is a more in-depth article on composting.

What’s the length of time to wait until I can use my compost?

This will differ depending on the mixture of organic material that is placed into the compost bin. Circumferential conditions and the weather are also a factor. As a general rule, it should take between 6 and 9 months before you can use your compost. To kickstart the process, there is a mixture you can make, and it’s simple. The items you will need are:

5-gallon bucket (free from chemicals. You can buy them cheap on Amazon)

6 ounces of beer

Ammonia

12 ounces of soda, not diet

2 gallons of warm water

By adding beer to the mixture, you’re adding yeast, which speeds up the decaying process. Ammonia contains nitrogen, which will provide the necessary shot to break down leaves and other components of your compost. Extra sugars and microbes are added when you include soda to the mix. Add water to the mix and pour over your compost and stir thoroughly with a shovel or rake. 

Once your compost is ready, and you’ve added it to your garden, you will soon have a bountiful harvest!

composting garden

I hope that this post has given you the knowledge and confidence to start your own compost bin!

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62 comments

  1. My Dad is a keen gardener, in fact a retired professional gardener. But he has never got in to composting.

    I think i might share this with him as it would be really valuable. Plus I have just had to buy him more compost and drop it on his drive to keep him busy during lockdown x

    1. My mother in law has just bought a composting bin because they are not emptying our green bins at the moment. I’ll let her know about the solution you have suggested above for quicker decomposition

    1. Even though we’re living in a hotel for the moment (house is being built from a fire in 18), I’ve been accumulating things that I can compost. I’ll be taking those things to the house each week, as I’m on papa duty, watching my grandkids.

  2. I’ve considered composting before but never truly looked into it properly. I’m liking the sound of the mixture to speed up the process, because 6-9 months seems like ages! Sim 🙂

    1. The idea to begin composting I credit my son and his family. They compost quite a lot of the things they can, as they have a big garden. It saves them money in the long run

  3. We have two composting barrels that swivel to mix our compost. One barrel is a little ahead of the other. I love composting our scraps because its green and helps the planet little by little.

      1. I’ve been composting for so many years. I learned a different way reading your post. I’m going to try your way and see how I like it. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yes, it’s very important to the environment! The more I read about composting, the more I’m committed to doing my part to help our environment. If I can limit the trash I’m sending to the dump, the better it makes me feel. Not to mention, the money I’ll be saving on things I’d need to nurture the soil every year!

  4. Haha this is good timing. We have literally just been discussing this the other day, so will give it a go x

  5. Rog this is so informative and so good at the moment. I need to set some time aside to make this bun. Seems like a step towards being kind to the environment

  6. I remember house sitting for my friends and having to turn their huge compost bins. I would love to start doing this for our garden.

  7. I love gardening but I’ve never considered making my own compost. This is really straightforward to follow and a great activity to do!

  8. I’ve never really thought about composting much but that’s probably because I’ve never had my own garden before. This may come in very handy when we’re in our new place as our garden is our 2021 project x

  9. This is great information, especially for right now. Our trash bins, recycling and compost bins haven’t been running since the virus hit. This is a great idea to start composting until the garbage services start running again!

  10. I love all the great information given to get started. I had not idea where to start in doing this. My neighbor did it and she loved it. Now that were here at home its a great protect to start since i garden every day. Good recycle project too with everything you put into it that would go in the trash.

  11. News to me with all this composting. They have a very composting in Whole Foods Market. It gets confusing to me at times.

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