How to Start a Simple Compost

For those of you that live under a rock, composting is an easy way of creating your own nutrient-rich soil while simultaneously saving your yard & kitchen scraps from ending up in a landfill (or burn pile, if you’re from the country).  This method requires minimal effort and creates excellent soil for your gardens, planters, pots, ect.  Composting isn’t rocket science, but there is a little more to it than just tossing your scraps in a pile.  Here’s the simplest way you can create your own compost.

compostbin2 A great way to start a simple compost operation is to –

1. Get yourself a big rubbermaid container and a lid or two.  This size is perfect for one household and also small enough that it can be indoors if you choose.  Drill small holes in the bin and one of the lids, 1 – 2 inches apart.  If your bin is inside make sure to put it on top of the second lid or something else to keep the bin from leaking gross things directly on to your floor.

2. Dig up some dirt.  There are also several great activating products you can buy and mix with the soil to give it a running start.  These products are not totally necessary, without them the decomposition process will take longer initially but will be just fine.  Before you dump your dirt in add some branches to the bottom to create good air flow.  Fill your bin no more than a little over half way.  You will need the room to mix your compost up and eventually it will get fuller.

3. Purchase tome tiny & slimy tenants for your bin.  I just buy the same worms from the hardware store that you would use for fishing.  I honestly can’t think of any other place you could buy worms.  You could dig them out of the ground if you’re feeling ambitious. Also if your bin is indoors and you don’t want worms in your house, I understand. You don’t have to. (But they help and they also reduce the smell.)

SIDE NOTE: Think of how awesome it is for those worms when they figure out they get to hangout in your compost bin instead of dying slowly on the end of a fishing hook and possibly being eaten.  Heck ya, little dudes!
I might be on my second glass of wine right now.

4. So that’s pretty much it.  You can now add scraps to your bin at will.
It helps to add some brown stuff (leaves,grass) whenever you add some green stuff (kitchen scraps).  It keeps the moisture balance in check.
ALSO shake your bin up or mix it with a hoe or shovel or something after you add scraps OR at least once a week.
When it gets full, shovel some into your garden.

You CAN actually keep your compost bin outside all year round.  If you keep adding to it even when it’s frozen it will kickstart itself in the spring.  Turns out the thawing & freezing it will go through in the fall and spring is great for breaking down materials and will make for speedy decomposition when the temp. is right.

That being said, here are some things you SHOULD NOT put in your compost:
Meat, fat, grease, oil, bones.
Lime.  It will bring your operation to a screeching halt.
Poop. Any kind of poop.
Anything that isn’t biodegradable.
Colored paper. For some reason.
Anything toxic.

For an enormous list of things you CAN put in your compost, click here.

It’s extremely hard to screw up composting.  Just give it a shot and your planet, more specifically, your garden will thank you!

How to Start a Simple Compost

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *