By Jennifer Woolwine

Composting made easy- Everything you need to know as a beginner


baghdad to barnyard

February 11, 2023

Are you looking to start composting but don’t know where to begin? No worries friend, I got you! Composting is a great way for beginners to get started in gardening. It’s an easy and natural way to recycle organic materials like kitchen scraps, grass clippings, leaves, and other yard waste. The compost you make will add important plant nutrients to your garden soil, help it hold moisture, improve its structure, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. To get started with composting all you need is the right space, materials and patience!

This blog post will cover the basics so you can get started composting right away. Learn everything from the different types of composting, what materials you can use, and other helpful tips to ensure a successful and easy composting experience at home.

What is composting?

Composting is the process of turning organic material into nutrient-rich soil or compost. You can compost a variety of items such as fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, leaves, eggshells, and more. Composting helps break down these materials to create an ideal fertilizer for your garden that aids in the growth of new plants. It’s an easy way to reduce waste and produce rich soil- and that’s a win-win in my book!

Location, location, location: Choose a spot for your compost heap or bin.

If you’re a composting beginner, there are several things to consider before starting your compost pile. First, pick a spot for your compost heap or bin that has lots of sunlight and sheltered from the elements. Additionally, make sure that it is not too close to your home because compost can attract pests and insects. Lastly, look for an area with an even surface with good aeration. Aeration is key to getting the most out of your compost!

To ensure a fun compost bin experience, I highly recommend checking out riseabvegarden. They make a spacious yet stylish compost bin while contributing to charities that build gardens for the homeless.

What items should go in a compost pile?

Common compost items include fruits and vegetables scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, grass clippings, leaves, and newspaper. Avoid placing cooked food, meat products, oils, or dairy in your compost; these can attract pests and disrupt the natural decomposition process. Be sure to mix equal parts of green (nitrogen-rich) materials such as grass clippings, fruit, and vegetable scraps with brown (carbon-rich) materials such as dry leaves, twigs, sawdust, and wood chips.

Soil is vital to maintaining the health of your garden and composting is a great way to naturally introduce rich nutrients and minerals into it. To make optimal use of your compost, regularly turn it with a digging fork or shovel. This helps provide oxygen for the microbes, as well as allowing moisture in to help keep decomposition running smoothly. You’ll know when your compost is ready by its pleasant earthy smell and dark appearance.

Tips for speeding up the process of composting.

If you want to speed the process of composting, make sure your compost pile is moist but not too wet, as this will prevent aeration and slow the decomposition process. Additionally, cutting items into smaller pieces can speed up the process and allow more surface area for microorganisms to work on. Adding a layer of finished compost or soil can help introduce helpful microorganisms that will quicken the decomposition. Finally, choosing the right compost container for your needs is important – if you want faster composting results, select a larger bin with holes for air circulation.

How to use and apply finished compost to your garden or yard.

Applying finished compost to your garden is a simple process that will provide your plants with essential nutrients and promote healthy growth. Begin by spreading two to three inches thick of compost, across the desired area using a rake or shovel. You can make the coverage deeper by repeating this process and adding additional layers until your reach the desired depth. After applying the compost, lightly water it for optimal plant absorption of nutrients from the compost. If you’d like to apply compost directly to individual plants, form three-sided trenches around each one and fill them up with soil mixed with compost. Finally, if you have too much finished compost than what’s needed in your garden, don’t forget that you can share it with others!

Final thoughts

Composting doesn’t have to be challenging or overwhelming. All it takes is setting up the right composting system that works best for you and your garden. With these tools, anyone can become an expert composter in no time! You can even share your newfound knowledge with others. Plus, nothing beats having homemade garden compost without paying a fortune from a large store.

BONUS: Get the ultimate guide to composting household items by downloading my free checklist. This checklist includes an extensive list of everyday items you can add to your compost pile so you can build a strong, nutrient-rich foundation for your garden!

Happy Composting friends!

xo, Jen

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Jen Woolwine       Author

Jen is a combat veteran and wife who is passionate about animal rescue, homesteading, and mental health advocacy. Jen's amazing journey of transitioning from military service to homesteading can be followed on her blog and social media platforms @baghdadtobarnyard.

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