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Interested in trying out home composting but overwhelmed at the idea? Don’t be! Home composting is actually a lot easier than you might think. Check out our easy and practical steps below and you will be composting in no time.
Home composting has been gaining popularity at record speed over the last few years. The concept is simple: compost is an organic material that gardeners can add to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste make great compost. If you have considered giving it a try, we have some easy beginner steps to get you started!
Easy Steps to Home Composting
Location/Type of Bin
To begin, you’ll want to find a bin that works for your space. There are many that can be hidden into the landscaping and others that can be made by hand using old pallets. What look are you going for and what is your budget? Keep in mind, you’ll want to place it where it’s easily accessible, especially during the winter. Also, near a water source is key. And if you have a garden, place it near the garden.
Collect scraps in a counter-top container. If it grows it goes, is the motto. Keep in mind to chop scraps small so they break down faster. When adding to your pile, alternate wet & dry ingredients. Keep in mind a 3-1 ratio. 1 Green to 3 Browns. Cover greens with browns when adding to outdoor pile/bin.
Green waste (nitrogen) – wetter:
- eggshells (wash first)
- tea bags
- coffee grounds
Brown waste (carbon) – drier:
- shredded newspaper
- small pieces of cardboard
- tissue paper
- paper towels & the roll
- toilet paper rolls
Things NOT TO ADD: Meat, bones, dairy products or grease of any kind. Do not add diseased plants or weeds.
If you purchase a tumbler, turning your compost will be pretty easy – and fun for the kids. Turn a tumbler every 3-4 days. With an open pile or other container, a pitchfork is the way to go, when turning a pile. You’ll want to turn it once a week or so so keep the pile aerated. Decomposition happens when microbes have oxygen to break down the compost. Be sure to turn it.
Your compost pile should feel like a wrung out sponge. If it’s too dry, it will take longer to break down and if it’s too wet, it may begin to smell.
Use Finished Compost
You may wonder… how will I know if my compost is finished? To test your compost, scoop a little bit into a plastic baggie and place on a windowsill for 3 days. When you open the baggie, it should smell like earth. If it has an ammonia smell to it, it’s not finished.
Once finished, compost will improve the soil structure, help to retain water, protects plants from diseases and many other benefits. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 inch to top of soil.
Thank you so much to Colleen from Back to Earth Compost Crew for this great guest post!
Back to Earth Compost Crew was founded in 2017 by mom, Colleen Falicki. Their mission is to keep food waste out of landfills and back into the soil in their communities in the Suburban Philadelphia area. They do this by providing residential curbside compost pick-up, commercial compost services, compost collection sites and compost education.
They offer a first month free trial at backtoearthcompost.com!
Back to Earth Compost Crew Service Area:
Local Reader Giveaway!
Back to Earth Compost Crew is offering one lucky Mama Cheaps reader a THREE MONTH SUBSCRIPTION to their Curbside Compost pick-up service! This includes a 5 gallon bucket with lid and every other week food scrap pick-up for 3 months. Please consult the service area map above before you enter to ensure that you live within their service area!
Enter using the rafflecopter below: