7 Steps to Make Composting Easy

Compost is quite easy to make by combining decomposable waste materials from your own household to make nutrient-rich, plant-enriching soil. Follow these eight easy steps to make composting easy…

1. Gather Brown Biodegradables

The “brown” material in your compost will form the basis and should be made up of carbon-producing twigs, sawdust, dead leaves, wood chips, branches, shredded paper (i.e., newsprint and cardboard), coffee filters, shredded wool and cotton, and even nut shells.

2. Collect Greens for Biodegradation

The “green” material in your compost bin will encourage nitrogen production—thanks to the breakdown of things like fruit peels and cores, veggie scraps, tea and coffee grounds, grass and leave clippings, and even hair and lint from your dryer. Keep items like pet waste, fatty meats, eggs (shells are fine), dairy products, and oils out of your compost materials. We have found that one of the most important things to do when collecting compost in your kitchen is to have a good compost bucket. We have tried several and most of them could not hold much compost material before they started to smell. We have been using this Stainless Steel Compost Bin for a couple weeks now, and have not had an issue with oder. 

3. Add Water

Adding water regularly will encourage the breakdown of green and brown organic contents in your compost bin. This is why setting up close to a water source (i.e., garden hose or outdoor tap) is important.

4. Set Up in Shade

Choose a shady spot in your backyard to set up your compost shop. The ideal dimensions should be roughly 3-feet deep, 3-feet wide, and 3-feet high. Keep water in mind so set up near a water hose or outdoor filling station. You can build a compost bin with left over material in your garage, or purchase one. We decided to go ahead and purchase one. We think they look a little nicer being in a neighborhood and they help keep out animals better than a home made one. Next time we are going to get a tumbler compost bin, I think these are much easier to use. 

5. Layer Decomposable Contents

The ratio of your compostable materials is vital. Aim for as much shredded as possible (especially for cardboard and paper contents) and layer in 3 parts brown materials to 1 part green materials and so on then add your water.

6. Mix it Up

Turning or mixing your compost contents will encourage the breakdown of organic materials, reduce smell, and promote aeration. You will know that the organic matter is breaking down when you start to see steam coming from the compost heap. This is where a tumbler compost bin comes in handy.

7. Utilizing Organic Matter

When your compost is ready to use, it will be free of any trace food waste and dark, rich brown in color. This completely broken down organic matter can be infused into lawns, product garden soil, and plant soil to add nutrients and encourage organic growth.