Composting is a wonderful way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your plants. It can sometimes seem complicated to get started but I promise it is easy to start composting and once you get started it becomes like riding a bike.
How to start composting for beginners
Choose a composting bin
There are many different types of composting bins available, so you can choose one that fits your needs and budget. Some popular options include:
- Open-air compost bins: These bins are easy to use and maintain, but they can attract pests and rodents.
- Vermicompost bins: These bins use worms to break down organic matter. Vermicompost is a particularly good option for small spaces, as it produces a lot of finished compost in a relatively short amount of time.
- Bokashi bins: These bins use a fermentation process to break down organic matter. Bokashi compost is not as nutrient-rich as traditional compost, but it can be used to enrich soil immediately.
- Storage Container: This is a cheap and easy way to start small. Take an old storage bin and drill holes in the bottom and on the sides for air flow.
Gather your composting materials
You can compost a wide variety of organic materials, including:
- Fruit and vegetable scraps: This includes peels, cores, and rinds.
- Coffee grounds and tea leaves: These materials are high in nitrogen, which is essential for plant growth.
- Yard trimmings: This includes grass clippings, leaves, and weeds.
- Household paper: This includes shredded paper, paper towels, and napkins.
- Eggshells: Eggshells are a good source of calcium, which is important for plant health.
Read 10 weird things you can add to your compost bin here!
Layer your compost materials
Once you have your composting bin and materials, you can start layering them. A good rule of thumb is to alternate between green materials (high in nitrogen) and brown materials (high in carbon).
- Green materials: This includes fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, and yard trimmings.
- Brown materials: This includes shredded paper, paper towels, napkins, and eggshells.
Start by adding a layer of brown materials to the bottom of your bin. Then, add a layer of green materials. Continue layering until your bin is full.
Water and turn your compost
Your compost needs to be moist, but not soggy. Add water as needed to keep the compost moist.
Once a week, turn your compost. This will help to aerate the compost and speed up the decomposition process.
Harvest your compost
Once your compost is finished, it will be dark brown and crumbly. You can then harvest it and use it to enrich your soil. You can use your compost in your garden beds and your potted plants.
Tips for beginners
- Start small. You don’t need a huge composting bin to get started. Nor do you need to spend a lot of money
- Don’t add meat, dairy, or oily foods to your compost. These materials can attract pests and rodents.
- Avoid adding diseased plants or weeds to your compost.
- If you live in a warm climate, your compost may be finished in as little as 6 months. If you live in a cold climate, it may take up to 2 years for your compost to be finished.
Composting is a great way to reduce your waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your plants. It’s a great way to save money gardening. If you follow these tips you can get your own compost bin started!