By: Garden Gate staff
| 1 of 4
Anyone can compost!
Not composting at home? Your soil and plants are missing out on tons of free nutrients!
Most compost recipes usually list a ratio of brown materials to green materials. Here are some of the ingredients you’ll be using for each.
Brown materials: Straw, dead leaves, cardboard/paper, corn cobs, pine needles, sawdust
Green materials: Grass clippings, fruit or vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, fresh animal (aside from pet) manure, healthy green plant material
Now that you’re ready to get a pile started, we’ve got three popular composting methods just ahead.
| 2 of 4
Fence it in
If you’re composting a lot of dried leaves that’ll blow around, there’s an easy way to keep everything in one spot. Use supplies you already have, like an old barrel or pieces of picket fence to make a container. The one to the left was made with four fence posts and a circle of hardware cloth.
Whatever you use, make sure your bin material has holes to let in oxygen and speed up the composting process.
| 3 of 4
Ready-made compost tumblers are enclosed, so it’s safe to put food scraps in them. Some have a stand, like the one to the left, for easy flipping.
No matter which style you choose, ready-made tumblers seal in moisture, so you’ll have finished compost in just a few weeks. For the fastest turnaround, put in 3 parts brown to 1 part green materials.
| 4 of 4
Three turns in a three-bin
Whether you buy or build your three-bin composting system, each bin should hold at least one cubic yard (3x3x3 feet) for the most efficient composting.
To start, fill the first bin with layers of brown materials and green materials both. When the volume of the pile has gone down by about half, turn it into the second bin. Once the second bin’s pile has gone down by another half, turn it into the third bin. In a few months, that compost will be rich, dark and crumbly.
Don’t forget to keep the cycle going by refilling the first bin, just like it is to the left.