Do you compost? Oh my gosh, if you don’t, why not?!!! It is easy, it’s great for the environment and it will result in amazing nutrient rich soil that surpasses anything you can buy from a store! Some of the additional benefits are that you will reduce the amount of trash you produce and keep things out of the landfill.
Now, I totally understand if you are living in the big city in an apartment and really don’t have space for compost let alone potted plants. But, if you have a yard, you really should be composting! It’s easy, it takes very little time and my little gardening BFFs (aka worms) do all the work for you.
That’s right, they eat up all your kitchen and yard waste and turn it into beautiful black soil. How do they do it? Well, if I tell you, you have to promise that you won’t get grossed out. They poop it out. LOL. Yup, compost is decomposition and worm castings (a nicer word for worm poop.) Please don’t run away, find out how easy it is to create this magnificent garden soil.
Here’s the basics for how to compost and get top quality soil for your garden and landscaping for FREE!
- Sealed bucket or container to store kitchen scraps (attractive compost bins from Plow & Hearth)
- Spading fork
- Partially shaded spot in your yard (if you have pets, put a little wire mesh fencing around it to keep them from scoring extra food.)
What can be composted?
- Kitchen scraps
- raw fruits
- egg shells
- Coffee grounds and the filter
- Newspapers, non-glossy cardboard, paper towels
- Leaves (brown for carbon and green for nitrogen rich)
- Grass clippings
- Plant & flower clippings
- Yard waste
What can’t be composted?
- Dairy products
- Processed foods
- Man made substances
Okay, you get the picture. Only raw fruits and veggies (and egg shell) kitchen scraps okay?
How to Compost:
Keep your compost bucket in your kitchen. We keep ours under the sink, but if you have a pretty container you can leave it on the countertop.
After cutting veggies or fruit, toss the scraps in the bucket. Coffee grounds can get thrown in filter and all. Egg shells (believe it or not) are also great for your compost.
When the bucket is full, dump your scraps outside in the compost pile. Your pile doesn’t have to be anything special. Ours is simply a hole in the ground. A shady spot is ideal so the pile doesn’t get dried out. If you’ve had a dry spell for a while, go ahead and water the pile.
Occasionally throw in some torn up strips of newspaper to add some “carbon” source to the pile. The key to a healthy compost is to have a good mixture of green (nitrogen rich) vs. brown (carbon rich) materials. Don’t overload on grass clippings or yard waste.
Flip some fresh soil on top of the scraps and walk away! That’s it. What about my BFFs, the worms? If you start the pile, they will come. Trust me, they’ll find your pile. If you’re super antsy, you could buy some red wigglers from a fishing bait place, but honestly why bother? Soon you’ll have big fat overfed worms happily working for you for free. Go back in 2-3 weeks and check on the progress of your magnificent garden soil.
I usually grab my magnificent soil from the bottom when I need it. But, you can split your pile in two. Use one side to add scraps to and let the other side “marinade” to perfection. Then switch sides. Frankly my little worm army works pretty fast. Within a month they have produced enough compost to fill some potted plants and more. I rarely buy soil anymore unless I need a huge amount.
Share this article with your friends and do something environmentally friendly! Pin this graphic to refer to later:
So, what’s your excuse for not composting? It better be a good one!