The Do’s and Don’t’s of Composting

Choosing to compost is the most simple, environmentally-friendly decision you can make. Meanwhile, you’ll be creating the absolute best soil for your garden, which is better than anything you could buy in the store. Oh, and it’s free.

how to compost

Image courtesy of Pretty Handy Girl

Here is what you need:
  • A sealed bucket or container (an old coffee tin or an attractive metal bucket would work)
  • A garden (or spading) fork which will be used for loosening, lifting and turning over compost and soil.
  • A partially shaded area in your yard where the compost can stay moist (Check out 5 Creative Compost Bin Ideas)
Do Compost:
  • Kitchen scraps (raw fruits, vegetables, and egg shells)
  • Coffee grounds, including the filter
  • Newspapers, cardboard, paper towels (all non-glossy)
  • Leaves, flowers, plant and grass clippings
  • Yard waste
Don’t Compost:
  • Meat and Dairy Products
  • Processed foods
  • Plastic or metal
  • Man-made substances
After you’re done cutting veggies and fruits, cracking eggs, or cleaning out your coffee pot, toss the scraps in the bucket (coffee grounds and filter are okay). When your bucket is full, you can take it outside to your compost and dump it in. Any scraps from your garden can be tossed in at any time. On occasion, throw in some torn newspaper (or other paper products listed in the “do”). The secret to the ideal compost is having a healthy balance of green and brown materials, since green are nitrogen rich and brown are carbon rich. Things like eggs shells also add much needed calcium to your garden. Let your compost set for 2-3 weeks and check on it. Keep adding to it and stirring in some fresh soil too. Make sure it retains moisture. If your garden is on a dry spell, feel free to add water to it! The key is letting the compost “marinade” before adding it to your garden. After a month you should be good to start using it. The soil on the bottom will probably be in the best shape, so make sure to use it first and continue adding to keep the compost going.    

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