How to Compost at Home
Composting your kitchen and yard scraps at home has many rewards, including healthy soil for your garden that delivers fruitful results at the end of the growing season, and reducing landfill waste to help improve our environment and our communities.
Start with a container or a section in your yard dedicated to composting
There are two types of composting containers – a stationary container or a rotating container. The stationary container can be any container that will hold your kitchen and yard scrap. It can be something as simple as an extra trashcan or a medium to large plastic container. The rotating container, or a tumbling container, is an easy-to-turn bin that speeds up the composting process. Using the rotating container may change how you compost at home since you may not need to mix as often. Note that placing either type of container in as much sunlight as possible will expedite the entire process. If you are designating a section of your yard, you may want to consider fencing it off to deter wildlife from reaching it.
Assemble your ingredients
If your compost is in a designated section of your yard, always start with things like twigs on the bottom, which will help create pockets of air that will help in the decomposition of your materials. Items such as newspaper, leaves, soil, twigs, kitchen waste, and grass clippings will ensure you have proper airflow and moistures.
Mix it up
Make a regular schedule of mixing all your ingredients about once per week with something like a pitchfork or a shovel. Keep a consistent schedule of adding your food and ingredients so the bacteria have plenty to consume and insulation to keep everything warm. Heat is a critical component of any good compost pile. Check regularly to make sure your pile is damp. After regular mixing and continually adding in new organic matter, you can expect to have beautiful compost in about 3-4 months. It will resemble crumbly soil that will smell like earthen dirt and will be ready to mix into your garden. Your plants will get a boost of nutrients from the compost that will make them healthier.
- Moisture is key. Make note of especially dry spells in the weather where you will need to add items that hold more moisture. Moisture is critical to break down the matter.
- Keep consistent matter flowing into your pile, but also keep a good combination of materials.
- Use the right size bin to match the amount of waste you will be adding. Big bins will require more materials so plan accordingly.
- Share your success and tips with others on how to compost at home.