Sadie is sharing tips for how to get started with composting.
Composting allows you to turn your food waste into free compost that is nutrient-rich and can be used for many things! Most likely, you're going to use it for gardening, so that is what this post will focus on. I personally love to use our food waste for composting, even though it's minimal. As you will find out, there are plenty of other things to add to your pile! It's important to keep your compost pile contained, though, so it doesn't attract animals.
How to Get Started With Composting
First you will need to decide exactly what type of composting you want to do. Earlier in the week we discussed three ways to start composting: traditional composting, tumbling composter, and vermiculture.
First things first, you need a composting bin! Decide on what size is best for your circumstances, and go from there. You can build your own compost bin from pallets or you can make a compost pile with hay bales, but I really like the Geobin.
Your compost bin needs to be placed in a semi-shaded area, directly on soil, and away from any direct water source. It should be easily accessible, and needs to have a lid (or cover).
What to Add to Your Compost Bin
To keep this post short, I won't be going into great detail about what exactly makes up your composting bin – but I will cover the basics. Ideally, you'll want to add equal parts of green stuff and brown stuff.
Green stuff such as fresh grass clippings, green garden debris, carrot peelings, eggshells, and weeds.
Brown stuff such as pine needles (small amounts), leaves, and twigs.
Other stuff should be added rarely, such as newspaper, cardboard, dryer lint, and wood chips.
What NOT to Add to Your Compost Bin
- diseased plants
- dairy products
- paper (black and white newspaper is okay in small amounts)
- dog or cat manure (though chicken manure is great for composting)
Read, read, read!
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide has been a very useful resource in starting my composting pile.
Composting For Dummies is another option for beginners that want to learn about composting. I love that you can get the Kindle version for less than $6!
Let it Rot!: The Gardener's Guide to Composting is a book I haven't purchased just yet, but it has amazing reviews. It's called the “composting bible”, even!
Composting is many things, but above all, composting is fun! Get kids involved by getting them books like Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System! If you're a homeschooler, learning about composting covers many subjects – mostly science! Try the book Composting: Nature's Recyclers to supplement your science curriculum. Composting would make the perfect Unit Study!
Have you tried composting? I'd love to hear your tips in the comments!
More Gardening Tips:
- 3 Ways to Start Composting
- How to Start Square Foot Gardening
- Top 10 Organic Fertilizers
- How to Make a Straw Bale Garden
- How to Start a Plot Garden
- Companion Plant Gardening
- Vegetable Container Gardening
- Tips for Attracting Bees to your Garden
- How to Make Fast and Easy Compost Pile Using Hay Bales
- Gardening Tips from Gardeners Pinterest Board
Thanks to Sadie of Slap Dash Mom for sharing her gardening tips.