Compost is the gift that keeps on giving. Cut back on food waste and turn your scraps into “black gold” that will feed and enrich your garden.
Learn how to make compost and get more tips on how to utilize this natural mulch in your garden.
Some common misconceptions of home composting are that it’s too complicated, it’ll smell funny, and it’s messy. These are all true if you compost the wrong way. Composting the right way is a very simple approach: Simply layer organic materials and a dash of soil to create a concoction that turns into humus (the best soil builder around!). You can then improve your flower garden with compost, top dress your lawn, feed your growing veggies, and more. With these simple steps on how to compost, you’ll have all of the bragging rights of a pro!
Types of Composting
Before you start piling on, recognize that there are two types of composting: cold and hot. Cold composting is as simple as collecting yard waste or taking out the organic materials in your trash (such as fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds and filters, and eggshells) and then corralling them in a pile or bin. Over the course of a year or so, the material will decompose.
Hot composting is for the more serious gardener but a faster process—you’ll get compost in one to three months during warm weather. Four ingredients are required for fast-cooking hot compost: nitrogen, carbon, air, and water. Together, these items feed microorganisms, which speed up the process of decay. In spring or fall when garden waste is plentiful, you can mix one big batch of compost and then start a second one while the first “cooks.”
Vermicompost is made via worm composting. When worms eat your food scraps, they release castings, which are rich in nitrogen. Worms for composting can be purchased inexpensively online or at a garden supplier.