Basic Backyard Composting

Are you intimidated by composting? Have you read complicated instructions online? Yes, there are more complicated versions you can do, but I'm going to give you the simplest and easiest way. Composting is really one of the easiest things you can do to reduce you household waste and I want to encourage you to do it! I'm going to give you the easiest way to compost and give you simple do's and don'ts!

Where should you begin?

First thing is to have a compost bin! There's multiple types of compost bins! Either you can make one out of untreated wood, or you can purchase various styles of bins!

This is one of my favorite compost bins made by Allgreen. It is generally used for the standard lasagna method where you layer your greens (food waste, grass, etc) and browns (dried leaves, toilet paper rolls, etc) and the magic happens! In the summer I will add water periodically and turn it-or at least try to poke it with a pitchfork. With the open bottom, you have to be careful not to plant it near trees since the tree roots will start growing inside of the compost bin. Trust me! It has happened to me! You can't blame it-it's full of wonderful Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon! As a plus to the open bottom, there's easy access for worms and microbes to easily help compost get to work! Lids also help keep those critters out and heat in!

Another option is a tumbling compost bin. It's simple to use! Just place your greens and browns in and turn it. This is one of the most common composters, but it is more difficult to get the compost started! They sell "compost starter" but don't waste your money! Just throw a scoop of soil in there and it will help get it started. A downside is as you add you food scraps and yard waste to it, it takes longer to turn and you'll have larger pieces of debris because it is never giving it a chance to turn fully to compost! This is where a dual composting tumbler comes into play! New compost goes in one side and old compost goes in the other side. That way you have a division of the two!

There are table top compost bins to hold your scraps until you get to your larger bin outside. This is a nicer way to keep on your counter than an old bowl or Tupperware container! You just have to remember to take it out before the fruit flies get to it!

So what can you safely add to a home compost bin and what should you steer clear of? If something was once alive it can be composted. But again we're going to stick with basic backyard composting! Here's a simple list of what you can and can't do!

Why Would you want to compost in the first place?

Food waste when thrown out into the landfill does not break down, but emits Methane gas!

So, I hope this will encourage you to start your composting adventures! It's amazing to sit back and watch nature do it's job! No need for expensive fertilizers here! Your plants and nature will love you for it!

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