A Beginner’s Composting Guide

Composting is a great step in the direction of sustainability, off-grid living, or even just general gardening! So I want to provide you with a simplex way of starting a hassle-free compost in your very own home whether you live in a big city or on a 20-acre country home.

What Will You Need?

  • -A small container with holes in the top. Look for something between 1 to 5 gallons.
    • This will allow for you to easily collect food scraps while cooking in your kitchen
    • You can then take it out when full or convenient time arises DSC_1098.jpg
  • Larger collection bin
    • Any size, depending on how much food scraps you plan on creating in a 2 to 4 month span.
      • I use This recycling binDSC_1099.jpg
    • Keep this somewhere that gets sunlight and air flow most days
  • Decomposable Scraps!

What Can You Compost?

  • Brown Scrap
    • Sticks
    • Leaves
    • straw
    • sawdust
  • Green Scrap
    • food scraps
    • grass clippings

How Long Does It Take to Decompose?

  • Full decomposation takes between 2 months to a year
  • The time will be dependant on a few factors
    • brown scrap: For example, straw tends to take longer than leaves
  • Once the bottom layer is dark, thick, and look like a rich earthy soil your compost is ready

Common Mistakes

  • Too much “brown” scrap will lead to a lack of aeration and will lead to a slower breakdown of the nutrient-dense green scrap
  • Too much manure
    • Manure especially the more common forms from chickens and cattle are very acidic in nature and too much will not benefit plants
  • No meat scraps in your compost!
    • Meat contains “bad bacteria” which will hinder the breakdown of your scrap
  • Avoid treated wood
    • do not use sawdust or sticks from treated sources, this will introduce unwanted chemicals into your compost

What Do I Do With It?

  • Your composting should collect in your large bin, Outdoors if possible for maximal sunlight and aeration
  • Add your scraps in a layering fashion between brown and green scraps
    • Important: Add about two parts brown scrap to one part green scraps
  • Once your compost is ready you can spread a thin layer over your garden bed, plants, or any soil near your buildings thus creating a harmless reuse of your waste!

I hope this guide was informational and will aide in progressing you into a more sustainable lifestyle! As always,

Think green, Friends.

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