Home Composting Guide

Types of Composters

There are many ways to turn your kitchen and yard waste into nutrient-rich compost. Many choose to use a composter to aid in the process. There are six primary types of composters available on the market today.

Compost Bins
Compost Bins
Compost Bins 
Compost bins are one of the larger styles of composters. They are good for gardeners looking to produce large amounts of compost, especially if the it includes generous amounts of yard waste, like grass clippings or fallen leaves. Typically these composts bins run a bit cheaper than other units. They vary is shape, color and size. One potential down side could be manual turning or stirring your compost pile.

Compost Tumblers
Compost Tumblers
Compost Tumblers
The key feature of a compost tumbler is the ease of aeration. Oxygenation is required to aid the breakdown of compost materials. These models make this process simple, offering either a turning handle or some type of drum mechanism that makes compost turnover quick and simple. This makes for a faster turnaround for your compost. Some compost tumblers are actually designed to be rolled around, which not only assists in aeration but also makes your compost easy to access throughout your garden.

Kitchen Composters
Kitchen Composters
Kitchen Composters
Kitchen composters are designed to hold food scraps right inside your kitchen. The convenience of a kitchen composter is unrivaled. Some models are a simple container with a carbon or charcoal filter that is kept on the counter. More advanced electronic models can actually complete the composting process right in the kitchen. Food waste is automatically mixed and heated, greatly increasing the efficiency and lowering the turnaround time it takes to make rich nutrient-filled compost. Periodically, the compost is taken outdoors to a compost pile.

Worm Composters
Worm Composter
Worm Composters
Worms are the tiny workhorses of the composting world. They help to break down food waste, leaving their castings, or manure, behind. Worm castings are widely considered to be the best type of compost for your garden. Worms double their population every three months, but they don't over populate the environment. Like a muscle, the more you use worms to compost, the more strong and efficient they become.With indoor and outdoor units available, worm composters can produce top of the line compost all year round.

Compost Tea Brewers
Compost Tea
Compost Tea Brewers
Compost tea is a unique method of using compost to create a liquid extract that can be applied to plants for a direct application of beneficial bacteria and fungi where plants need it most. Not only is compost tea a completely organic fertilizer, but it's also a soil conditioner. Commercial fertilizers cannot compete with the nutrients compost can provide. Strained compost tea can be poured directly onto soil or applied by spraying onto plants for a burst of nutritious compost. The compost that has been saturated to make the tea is also useful to spread in your garden.

Composting Toilets
Compost Toilet
Composting Toilets
Whether you live "off the grid" or are just looking for a way to reduce dependency on local water and sewer systems, compost toilets can provide you that freedom, while creating nutrient-rich compost. These toilets are often used in cottages or small homes where they are considered a far superior alternative to the traditional outhouse. The cost is much lower to install a composting toilet than a full septic system - plus there is the added benefit of turning waste into usable compost. Composting toilets can be self contained or part of a system where waste is deposited into a remote tank on a lower level. A common misconception is that there may be an odor present when using a composting toilet, but the reality is quite the opposite. A correctly installed composting toilet will leave less of an odor than a conventional toilet.

I encourage you to also visit the Composter Learning Center for additional information on finding the correct composter for you.

How to Know Your Compost is Ready

Initially, the process of composting can seem a little overwhelming.  It takes a lot of research to ensure you’re doing it as accurately and efficiently as possible so you get nutrient rich compost in a reasonable amount of time.  As much as you don’t want to waste months or years waiting for it to be ready, you also don’t want to waste this precious resource by using it too soon.  One of the first and most common questions those who are new to composting ask is how you will know when your compost is ready.

The answer is actually fairly simple and straightforward, definitely nothing to stress about – when there’s nothing recognizable left in it, it’s done!  You should not recognize anything you’ve put into it whether kitchen scraps or yard waste, aside from maybe a few blades of grass or leaf pieces.  Generally completed compost is dark brown or black in color and has a soft, crumbly texture much like potting soil.  It should easily crumble between your fingers when handled.  No presence of a foul odor should be present but instead it should have a pleasant, earthy, soil-like smell to it.  If it smells rotten or unpleasant, it’s not ready to use yet.

Another way you can monitor your compost for readiness is by tracking its temperature with a compost thermometer.  Up until the compost is ready for use it will feel hot to the touch and have a temperature of about 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once the compost is ready it will feel cool like the climate surrounding it, if it feels much warmer than that it’s not quite ready to use.  Rotate it and give it a little more time.

It’s important to remember that most compost takes anywhere from three months to two years to fully mature, so don’t rush it.  Good compost is worth the wait.

Composting in the Kitchen

Looking to give composting a try, sick of running outside after every snack and meal, or simply living with a limited outdoor space but still want to make your own compost for your balcony garden?   A kitchen composter may be just what you need.

Other than meat, fish, dairy, or oils you can pretty much compost anything – tea bags, coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, and moldy produce are all great ways to be sure nothing in your kitchen goes to waste.  The best way to store these food scraps is to invest in an inexpensive compost caddy, bucket, or compost pail.  You can transfer these scraps later to a larger compost container.  Look for one with a tight fitting lid and consider adding a charcoal compost filter to keep unwanted odors at bay.  Depending on your family size and the volume of waste you produce, most kitchen composters only need to be emptied every one to two days.

If you’re looking to begin and end the compost process in your kitchen you might consider an indoor kitchen composter.  Rather than being simply a useful tool for storage and transportation to a larger composter, these little dynamos complete the entire composting process right inside your kitchen.

Compost Activators

Serious gardeners have always understood the value of a well-developed compost pile, its use documented throughout thousands of years of history. Not only does it provide exceptional nutrition to growing plants by restoring poor soils, it also naturally reduces the need for harmful chemicals and pesticides.CompostActivator

Unfortunately, compost can take quite a bit of time and effort to “ripen” and prepare for use – sometimes up to an entire year before it’s ready to work into the soil. There are multiple ways to accelerate the process including working in blood meal, bone meal, or alfalfa meal, animal manure, human compost accelerator, or homemade concoctions - or you can simply add in a compost activator and get the same results without the hassle.

Generally when compost breaks down slowly it is high in carbon (dried leaves) and lacks essential nutrients, usually nitrogen (greens). Compost activators are essentially made up of nitrogen rich ingredients and work to accelerate the composting process by providing any missing nutrients needed to develop the pile. They can help speed up the process and have compost ready to use in as little as 30-90 days. In addition to nutrient imbalance, your pile may also require a compost activator in cooler weather to help maintain the heat necessary for the pile to develop. If speeding up the process by several months isn’t enough, compost activators can also assist in creating a better smelling pile.

When choosing a compost activator, it’s important to consider what it’s made of. Some activators are full of chemicals and if you’ve been working to grow your own organic product, it would quickly diminish your efforts. You’ll want to choose an activator that is organic itself and free of chemicals and toxins. All of the organisms should be tested safe and biodegradable to ensure the best results.

Worm Composting

Worm composting is the practice of using worms to eat food scraps and other natural materials which are then digested into a valuable soil nutrient known as worm compost, or vermicompost. The process is actually quite simple: the worms eat the food scraps and those become compost as they break down through the worm’s body and exit as castings, or worm manure. This compost is nutriWorm_Chalet_Composterent-rich and can be used to enrich soil and nourish plant life by turning those messy food scraps that would otherwise go to waste into rich, crumbly, black compost.

Worm composting is ideal for apartment dwellers or those with little or no outdoor space since a worm compost bin takes up much less room than other composting methods and many are even odorless. Worm compost bins offer the perfect conditions in which to harvest this rich compost. Most bins consist of multiple stacking trays and as worms finish digesting the scraps in one tray they move up to the next level in search of more food. Simply empty the finished castings out for use in your garden and refill the tray to continue the cycle. Some worm compost bins also include an additional tray for compost tea and many have the option of adding additional trays if you want to obtain even more of this rich compost.

Worms require a moderate working temperature between 50 and 80 degrees allowing worm composting to be done outdoors during warmer seasons or indoors year-round. The worms work quickly and can convert most kitchen scraps into valuable compost in less than two weeks. Conveniently, they are self-regulating and can double in number every three months but will never overpopulate your bin.

Tumbling Composter – Product Review

The Tumbling Composter is an innovative way to generate plenty of high-quality compost quickly and easily. It is designed to require minimal work and time in order to produce rich compost, made possible by features such as built-in churning paddles and aerating vents. Both of these features Tumbling_Composterensure that the compost materials receive plenty of oxygen to speed the process. For best compost results, this composter should only be rotated one to two revolutions every few days.

The durable black bin has a capacity of 6 cubic feet and its rodent-free design will keep the contents protected from pests. A sliding door allows for easy access when adding materials or removing compost. It also enables separate batches of compost to develop simultaneously so that a new batch can be started while another is nearing completion. This is a great feature, because it means that there will always be compost ready to use.

  The Tumbling Composter is an ideal choice when using kitchen waste and green materials. The best results are achieved when these materials are combined with paper or cardboard to increase the carbon content. Compost activator works especially well with compost tumblers – it helps breaks down materials and add nutrients to the materials and is a worthwhile investment when purchasing a composter.

Some simple assembly steps will be required when the compost tumbler arrives before it is ready for use, but once it is installed, the only maintenance required will be turning the tumbler every few days. This compost tumbler is built to last and covered by a 90-day warranty to protect all parts and workmanship.

EZ Composter Jr. – Product Review

For those looking to begin composting on a moderate scale and at an affordable price, the EZ Composter Jr. offers a durable and convenient way to get started! Scrap vegetables, grass clippings, and leaves are transformed into useful compost in as littleEZ_Composter_Jr as two weeks. With frequent turning speeds, the composting process is easy to do while the barrel is resting on its stable base. This barrel rests on glide posts installed into the top of the base to make turning quick and simple; recessed handles provide a grip for easy turning.

The contents of the barrel are accessed conveniently through the 12-inch twist-off lid, which doubles as protection from animals. Air vents and a two-way breather on the lid allow air to keep flowing through the barrel to accelerate the composting process. The EZ Composter Jr. is made of 100% recycled plastic, and it arrives in two pieces for a fast and easy installation. The quality of the EZ Composter Jr. is backed by a one-year limited warranty on all parts and the manufacturing of the product.

Vinyl Garden Compost Bin – Product Review

The Vinyl Garden Compost Bin is both attractive and functional. It is the ideal size for composting and yVinyl_Garden_Compost_Binou don’t have to worry about any awful smells being released into the air. This vinyl compost bin will not be an eye sore in any yard with its simple, sleek, and modern look.

The Vinyl Garden Compost Bin – which if made right here in the U.S.A - features removable front rails and handle cutouts that make it much easier to handle when adding and removing compost.

The bin is constructed of the highest quality vinyl, which contains a very high concentration of Titanium Dioxide. Titanium Dioxide is a powerful UV stabilizer that prevents the bin from the sun’s harmful rays. You will never need to worry about any cracking, peeling, or rotting. This is great because it never needs to be painted, stained, or sealed. It’s practically maintenance free!

The Vinyl Garden Compost Bin will make a great addition to any backyard. Once you have your composter, you will start saving money by using your own scraps and yard waste to make compost. Since compost is considered one of the best soil additives and one of nature’s best mulches, it will help you to have your greenest garden to date!

Kitchen Compost Pail – Product Review

Sometimes composting isn’t as easy or fun as you would hope. Especially for those who don’t have a yard that can contain a large outdoor composter. Well guess what? There’s hope! For some people, it can be a big hassle to have to drag out your garbage and scraps to the Kitchen_Compost_Pailcomposter every time you have something that can be composted. Well, don’t think you are the only one. The Kitchen Compost Pail is here for a reason!

The Kitchen Compost Pail is shaped like a traditional outdoor metal can. This pail can easily be placed anywhere in your kitchen. It features a tightly closing lid and a wide, easy-to-carry handle – perfect for trips to an outdoor composter! The lid features a series of flower-shaped vent holes – but don’t worry - the Kitchen Compost pail also comes with two replaceable carbon odor pouches. These pouches control any bad odors that might try to escape from your pail. Lastly, the pail is finished in a white enamel powdercoat that will easily blend in with any homes d├ęcor.

The Kitchen Compost Pail works pretty similar to any larger composter that you would have outside. You are just starting the process a little bit sooner. It’s pretty simple, all you have to do is place your vegetable and plant waste (and any other compostable materials, see Composting Fundamentals) into the pail. Keep the pail in your kitchen until it is full - the carbon pouches eliminate any bad odors that may try to emit from the pail. Once your pail is full, then you can transport it to your outdoor composter. What’s nice about the kitchen pail though – is that it will start the composting process before you take your materials outside!

So for those of us that do not have a lot of (if any) outdoor space for a composter, we can compost small amounts at a time for our potted plants or mini gardens. For those who already have a composter, this small pail will save you numerous trips out to the composter, and help start the breakdown process sooner!

Roto Composter – Product Review

Although a conventional homemade compost pile will get the job done, it can take years to get ready to use compost and it’s a whole lot of work.  Recently, innovators have started to develop home composters to make composting convenient, easier, and a bit safer than a basic pile.  Using a barrel can also provide you with much quicker access to ripe fertilizer.  A compost barrel can speed up the process and sometimes get it down to just a few weeks rather than years with a pile and a shovel.

The Roto Composter is constructed of durable 100% recycled polyethylene plastic and measures 36" x 28" x 31", and holds 12 cu. ft. of material.  A large 16 inch twist off lid located at the top of the rain barrel provides easy access for dropping in kitchen scraps and recyclable yard waste.  It also adds the security of knowing children and small animals won’t be able to fall in. 

In order to get the most out of your roto compostercompost barrel, you need to turn the compost regularly.  The large capacity composter rotates on a stable, wheeled base ensuring that the nutrients in the developing compost is evenly distributed.  The rotating drum can be removed from it's base and rolled to desired area for filling or dispensing.  Recessed handles on the sides of composter provide gripping points for conveniently turning the batch.  A good batch of compost needs air to accelerate the process so there are 72 end air vents and a two-way breather valve on the lid to provide air movement from end to end and throughout the composting batch.

This composter will arrive in two pieces and is so simple to set up. Simply set the drum on top of the base, and you're ready to start turning your yard waste and kitchen scraps into beneficial compost for your garden. The Roto Composter allows you to easily turn material that would have originally ended up in the garbage, into nutritious fertilizer.

Green Solar Cone Composter– Product Review

Composting has never been as easy as with the Green Solar Cone Organic Digesting Composter. With the Green Solar Cone Composter, you will be able to eliminate your kitchen waste AND reduce your family’s trash by up to 20%!
Another great aspect of the Green Solar Cone Composter is that it is beneficial to the environment. By using it, you can help conserve landfill space and you are able to dispose of food waste immediately. This solar-heated composter will safely eliminate all cooked and uncooked food waste, which in turn will keep your remaining household waste clean and ready for recycling. The Green Solar Cone Composter breaksGreen_Solar_Cone_Composter food waste down to its natural components of water, carbon dioxide, and a small residue. Included with the composter is a kitchen caddy (for easy trips outside with your food waste) and accelerator powder (to help speed up the composting process).
The Green Solar Cone is a four-part injection molded unit made completely from recycled plastic. It has a lower base unit basket that is installed below ground. There is a black inner cone that is located inside the outer green plastic cone. The patented design of this composter utilizes a solar heating effect between the inner and outer cones to promote air circulation, which aides in the growth of micro-organisms that contribute to the composting process. You will want to choose a sunny location for your composter. The warmer it is – the quicker the composting process will begin.
Having a composter is an earth-friendly, easy-to-use, efficient household tool that will always help reduce and eliminate the problem of food disposal. Over 90% of the waste material in the Solar Green Cone is absorbed safely as water by the soil and it  only needs to be cleaned out once every few years when you treat it with care.
Once you receive your Green Solar Cone Composter and follow the few easy steps for assembly – you will be ready to compost! You can make a big difference in your own home and yard by simply composting instead of throwing all of your organic kitchen waste in the trash. Save the earth and money at the same time!

Sun-mar garden composter – product review

Owning a garden composter can make a big difference in a homeowner’s life. One of the biggest aSunMar_Garden_Composterdvantages of having a compost tumbler is that it takes in organics from the top and tumbles them daily. Owning a composter also helps t o lower buildups at garbage dumps and will help you reduce your water bill – compost helps soil retain water a lot more efficiently!

The Sun-Mar Garden Composter is a top of the line composter that is available in two different sizes: 50 and 100 gallons. This composter is pest proof – you will never have to worry about any rodents or other animals crawling in. It also has a patented double drum design and uses hyper-thermophylic microorganisms to help break down your garbage in a constant tumbling fashion. One of the great aspects of this outdoor composter is that there is never any need to empty it and start over – it releases a constant flow of humus out the exit hatch on the side when full!

How it works:
The Sun-Mar is very easy to use, and it’s even easier to assemble! All you need to do is snap the cradle on to the drum bearing and then you’re ready to go!

Once you have your Sun-Mar composter assembled, you can start feeding it kitchen scraps, weeds, leaves, etc. The materials go in through easy access ports located at  the top of the composter. Once you have your compost inside of the drum, you will need to rotate it a few times. There is a back-saving ball bearing which makes for easy tumbling.

Compost will begin exiting automatically from the bottom port as the drum rotates. As the drum rotates, compost moves along the outer drum and then back throughout the entire inner drum before it leaves through the output port. Another highlight of this composter is that it is completely fork, shovel, and tool free!

If you ever find that the compost in your barrel is dry, you will want to spray it with water to add moisture. It’s also important to keep the composter warm – usually just being out in the sun will work just fine.

With the Sun-Mar Garden Composter you can help reduce the amount of garbage being sent to the landfill each year – and have free, organic fertilizer forever! There’s no better way to go green than with the Sun-Mar Garden Composter.

Composting – How Much Compost You Need

With Spring upon us and Summer quickly approaching, it’s time to start that dreaded landscaping and yard cleanup.  One easy way to aid in this process is to begin composting.  This way you can just quickly toss all of the excess yard waste into a bin and voila, cleanup completed!
Even better, that compost once it matures can save you quite a bit of money on fertilizer.  Compost can be used to enrich gardens, improve the soil around trees and shrubs, and as soil additive forimage house plants and planter boxes or protective mulch for trees and shrubs.  The possibilities are endless.  Of course, you can create your own compost pile in your back yard but it’s much easier and cleaner to process it in a compost bin.  Compost bins can come in a smaller kitchen size that can be used for a small garden or to transport kitchen waste to a larger composter outdoors which are generally 50-100 gallons.  Of course, the question is, how much fertilizer do you really need to nurture your garden all summer long?  The truth is, you can never have too large of a composter since compost will not expire and can always be used the following year, but you could unknowingly choose a size that is too small and therefore unable to provide enough fertilizer.
In most regions adding a layer each year that is about 1/2 an inch thick, or about 30 gallons per 100 square feet, is all that is necessary.  However, if you live where the growing season is a bit longer or in an area with high rainfall it may be necessary to double that to about 1 inch per 100 square feet. 
First, to calculate how much is compost is needed you will have to figure out how many square feet you want to imagecover.  Then, divide that number by 100 and multiply your result by 30.  This will give you the amount of fertilizer your garden needs in gallons. Basically, if you have a garden that is 500 square feet you’ll need to be prepared with about 150 gallons of fertilizer per year - 30 gallons of compost is equal to about 160 pounds of fertilizer, or 4 bags.  That means for 500 square feet you would need 20 bags of fertilizer.  Traditional fertilizer, at about $12 per 20 pound bag, would cost you at least $240 a year.  Just imagine the money you will save using compost; a new composter will pay for itself within the first year!

Composter Selection

If you’re reading this you are obviously familiar with the fact that our landfills are overflowing with excess waste that could easily becomposter recycled and used as fertilizer. For a family of four, using a composter rather than  throwing away kitchen scraps and grass clippings can  save up to 700 pounds of waste per family each year. Imagine the amount of money you can save on that much fertilizer! You could do it the hard way and make a big pile in your backyard and tend to it plus try to keep critters out of it, but who has time for that? As composting is beginning to grow in popularity many inexpensive, high quality designs have been developed.
The inconspicuous black Compost Barrel is exceptional in both quality and design. Designed with ease and simplicity in mind, this composter features a rotating tumbler so your compost will develop evenly. Similar in design are the 53 Gallon Green Compost Tumbler, Barrel Compost Tumbler, Roto Composter, and 50 and 100 Gallon Sun Mar Composters. Regularly give any of them a spin and go on with your day for even compost in a few short weeks rather than years in a traditional pile. The Sun Mar Composters even feature a handy pour spout on the side so you don’t have to worry about scooping compost from your barrel when you need it.
The Green Johanna Hot Composter is unique in that it is quicker to compost than a standard compost bin and can actually break down all types of food waste, including cooked food, bones, fish and meat, which should not be added to a standard compost bin. Once the weather cools off, keep your compost from freezing with the Green Johanna Hot Composter with Winter Jacket. Constructed of recycled plastic and highly durable in design, the 58 Gallon Black or Green Compost Barrels come complete with a convenient extra wide hatch and wind proof lid so you don’t have to worry about it blowing away.
If an eye catching design is more your style, you would appreciate the greencomposterSpanish aesthetic of the tera cotta colored Composter. This attractive  composting bin is designed to look like a tera cota pot and also comes in an attractive brown; no one will ever know that you’ve stashed kitchen waste and weeds inside. The Vinyl Garden Compost Bin looks like something straight out of a country kitchen. Just looking at it takes you back to that vacation in the country or visiting a farm. Very attractive and minimalistic in design, this composting center is excellent for tossing in your waste and moving on with the day.
If you’d prefer to move your composting efforts indoors, you’ll want something like the 4.75 Gallon Silver Kitchen Composter or a Kitchen Compost Pail. Stash away your kitchen scraps until full and then dump outside in your larger compost bin or use to compost organic scraps that you wouldn’t put in a traditional compost bin. These are great for condos or apartments or homes with small yards since you can compost in an attractive container inside your house. If you’re looking for an innovative, dual purpose composter, you’d appreciate the Green Solar Cone Organic Digesting Composter. When partially buried underground, this composter will gradually release nutrients into the soil around it. Store your kitchen waste in the included kitchen caddy and then take it outside when full and dispose of it in the coordinating composter.
Whatever design you are in the market for, there’s certain to be one out there that’s just right for your needs.

Composting Fundamentals

I sat down earlier in the week to write an article on composters and realized I composter1 literally knew nothing about them. Now I know that they store garbage and that somehow, over time, that garbage will become free fertilizer, but that was the extent of my knowledge on the subject. I figured since I didn’t know much about it, there are probably a lot of people out there who don’t realize the importance of the subject I’ve just recently gained extensive knowledge on – composting. The following basic questions and answers should get you started on composting and over time with some experience, become an expert on the subject.
What is composting?
Let’s start with basic description, which is pretty much what we all know so far. Compost is, by definition, “A mixture of decaying organic matter, as from leaves and manure, used to improve soil structure and provide nutrients.” Without any intervention nature uses composting to replenish itself when leaves and plants die, pile up on the ground, and begin to decay. The rotting leaves return to the soil and the roots reclaim those nutrients, completing the natural recycling process.
Composting yard and kitchen wastes is a critical step towards reducing waste and contributing to a healthy environment. Once the composting process has been completed you will have an earthy, dark, crumbly substance (similar in appearance to humus) that is excellent for enriching soil.
Why would you compost? What are the benefits of composting?
As people become more aware of the impact of landfills and excess waste on the environment, they are turning to composting. Through composting garbage and waste becomes a valuable reusable resource rather than another pile in a dump. At least 30% of the waste in our landfills is yard and kitchen waste. The basic principles are quite simple and sticking to them will result in diverting an average of 700 pounds of waste per household, per year from landfills.
Compost does several things to benefit the soil that synthetic fertilizers cannot do, while saving you money year after year. By adding organic matter to the soil rather than synthetic chemicals, you are creating a much safer environment. This organic matter also improves the way water interacts with the soil. Regardless of the type of soil you have there are extensive benefits to keeping composting the way nature intended - natural.
How do you begin composting?
You can put as much effort into composting as you want; essentially it is an almost effortless process that needs very minimal maintenance. The process composter2can range from passive to highly managed. By choosing a highly managed method you’re really going to have to commit and learn the various  combinations of wastes needed to create a perfect pile and how to maintain it. I prefer passive since I don’t plan on getting very scientific and spending hours a week on all of this. Very simply, gather your grass clippings, leaves and kitchen scraps and toss them into the bin whenever you have some until the bin is full. You’ll want to use a good mix of browns and greens in your compost to get the best nutritional balance. Browns tend to be bulky and promote aeration while greens tend to be high in moisture and balance out the dry nature of the browns.
Over time the waste will begin the natural recycling process and start to compress and decompose and eventually become compost. In a traditional compost pile you’ll want to wait a year or two to check the oldest stuff at the bottom for finished compost which is dark brown, crumbly, and earthy-smelling.  Small pieces of leaves or other ingredients may be visible but if the compost contains a lot of materials that are not broken down, it is only partly decomposed. You can accelerate this process by using a bin instead, which can decrease this time to just a few weeks or months.  Once the compost is ready, remove the bottom section and add it to your garden beds or plants and continue adding waste to the compost bin. It’s as easy as that!
There are a tremendous number of options for containing your compost and once you’ve chosen your method of composting, you will need to choose a bin system. I prefer commercially made compost bins over piles covered in hay or homemade contraptions simply because I don’t like the idea of wildlife enjoying my pile. This way my compost (and back yard) is safe from critters and I won’t get a surprise when I find some wild animal in my backyard enjoying my leftovers. Many commercial composters also come with complete composting directions to take any guesswork out of the process.
What can you compost? What can’t you compost?
A great variety of things can be composted at home, saving them from a one-way trip to the landfill, and turning them into a valuable soil commodity. Feel free to throw in grass or lawn clippings, hay, leaves, straw, wood chips, saw dust, weeds, and kitchen waste. You can’t use everything from the kitchen but fruit and vegetable peels and rinds, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells, and similar food waste is great to compost. You don’t want to compost meat scraps, fatty food wastes, milk products, and bones. These are particularly attractive to pests and don’t always smell to great either. Avoid composting weeds that have begun to seed until they are thoroughly dead (brown) since they may resprout in your compost pile.
Steer clear of composing pet wastes, human wastes, diseased plants (to avoid spreading that disease later), and chemically treated wood products. Chemically treated wood products can contain harmful chemicals such as arsenic, chromium, and copper.
If you have any other questions, we’re always here to help you get started. As you can see, composting is a very simple process with huge benefits. In as little as five minutes a day you can begin creating fertilizer that will benefit your plants and your wallet for as long as you continue composting.

The Home Composting Guide – Your Guide to Recycled Fertilizer

The Home Composting Guide will guide you through the fundamentals of at home composting. We will be featuring helpful tips on composting, reasons to compost, and reviews of the hottest composters on the market.

Stay tuned for upcoming composter product reviews and the latest news in at home composting!