You may have considered starting a compost in the past but were unsure how to start one from scratch. Well, here’s a straightforward 5 step guide on how to get your compost started at home, in your classroom, or in your office!
Step 1: Find a Suitable Bin
First, you’ll want to decide how much material you plan to compost, and look at the amount of room you have for the bin. The bin should always have a secure lid to prevent unwanted pests from getting inside.
There are options such as a simple plastic bin, a homemade compost bin (made of wood), a compost tumbler, or even an indoor vermicompost bin. Research each of these options based on your answer to the first two questions, as well as your price range, to find your most suitable compost bin!
Step 2: Location, location, location!
Choosing a good location for your bin is the next step. Make sure where you put your bin is level to the ground and in an easily accessible location. If outside, put the bin over bare soil if possible so that worms can find the compost, which are very beneficial for it. Remove grass and plants from below the bin and turn the soil down about 7 inches.
Step 3: What to put in & What not to put in
Yes: Leaves, hay & straw, paper & cardboard, woody prunings, eggshells, tea bags, sawdust, vegetable & fruit peelings, grass clippings, coffee grounds, fresh manure, green plant cuttings, annual weeds and young hedge trimmings
No: Meat & bones, poultry & fish, fatty food waste, dairy products, human & pet feces, pernicious weeds, or treated wood
Step 4: Patience and Maintenance
In order to make the best compost possible, you’ll want to layer the organic materials in a certain way. On the bottom, put your leaves, hay & straw, paper & cardboard, woody prunings, eggshells, tea bags, sawdust. On top of this, put a thin layer of finished compost and/or good garden soil. Next, put your vegetable & fruit peelings, grass clippings, coffee grounds, fresh manure, green plant cuttings, annual weeds, and young hedge trimmings. Mist each layer with a garden hose and keep alternating this pattern until your bin is full! Remember to turn the pile every 14 days if possible!
Step 5: Use your compost!
Congrats on your compost! You can use it in so many different ways; For house plants, flower and vegetable beds, topping up your lawn, around trees and even to create compost tea!
Composting is a very simple way you can make a positive impact by reducing waste and reusing organic materials to enhance the natural environment around you!
Compost-Info-Guide.com. (n.d.). Composting Guide for Beginners: 6 Steps to Making Great Compost! Composting guide for beginners, Composting tips for everyone. Retrieved from http://www.compost-info-guide.com/beginner_guide.htm