Composting is a simple yet highly beneficial means to care for your garden. It produces valuable nutrients to boost your soil’s health and makes for greener growing. Since you’re turning your household waste into compost, you’re not only skipping the chemicals. You’re also reducing your carbon footprint.
Before we teach you how to compost, it’s best to understand the basic science behind it.
What is composting?
Composting is the process wherein billions of microorganisms naturally break down food waste into a stable form. Once these natural ingredients reach their composting peak, they are ready to provide your soil nutrients that can certainly take your garden to the next level.
What can you compost?
You can compost just about every food waste. However, not everything can be piled into your compost. Here’s an official list from the US-Environmental Protection Agency of items you can put in your bin:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Tea bags
- Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
- Nut shells
- Shredded newspaper
- Hair and fur
- Yard trimmings
- Grass clippings
- Hay and straw
- Fireplace ashes
- Wood chips
- Cotton and Wool Rags
What CAN’T you compost?
Part of this guide to composting is knowing exactly what not to put in your bin. Certain waste can be extremely harmful to the environment once their chemicals are released. Moreover, these kinds of waste can also be toxic to your plants, which in turn can be harmful to you. Other waste like dairy products can attract pests and may even kill beneficial composting organisms that are already present in your compost.
Here’s a list of what NOT to compost:
- Black walnut tree leaves or twigs
- Coal or charcoal ash
- Dairy products (e.g., butter, milk, sour cream, yogurt) and eggs*
- Diseased or insect-ridden plants
- Fats, grease, lard, or oils*
- Meat or fish bones and scraps*
- Pet wastes (e.g., dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter)*
- Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticide
Where is it best to put your compost?
You might be tempted to put your compost bin somewhere near the sun. However, our expert advice is to put it in a shady area. This creates a much more balanced surroundings for your bin not to dry out or get soaked when it’s rainy.
It’s also best to choose a compost bin that is open at the bottom. If you choose to position it on top of a slab or pavement, you may not attract essential microbes, insects or worms pivotal to breaking down your kitchen waste.
What are things you need to remember when composting?
Part of learning the basics of composting is keeping in mind a few things. Here are tips to compost the best way in your home garden:
1. Find the balance between dry waste and wet waste. This speeds up your composting and prevents it from becoming to dry or slimy.
2. Learn to layer. Start with a pile of twigs or branches at the base. From there, layer your waste so there is a good mix of everything.
3. Introduce air. Just like mulching your garden soil to introduce some air, it’s essential to turn your compost once in a while.
4. Find the best compost bin you can. There are plenty available in the market today. In fact, you can even make your own. If you don’t have the resources to and want one that can carry a load and last a lifetime, get started with our compost bins.