Stress-free Composting for Beginners

New to composting? Or, you might have thought it gross before, but have since realized that compost is a gardener’s best friend.

Composting boasts many benefits. First of all, it creates nutrient-dense soil for your garden. It also detoxifies your soil, protects land from erosion, and lets food waste decompose properly in your own yard instead of in a landfill, where it’ll just add to the mounds of waste. From an environmentalist point of view, composting is also a good way of encouraging regeneration–a cycle we see in nature that encourages the growth and continuation of many living things in our planet. So if you want your plants healthy and thriving, plus do your part in saving the environment at the same time, get started on composting.

Here’s how to turn your kitchen waste into nutrient-rich food for your plants.

Materials:

  • biodegradable kitchen waste (see list below of things you can compost)
  • soil
  • pail (any sturdy leak-proof container will do)
  • compost bins

Instructions:

  1. Gather all your compostables in a container like a trash pail. You can place it next to your garbage bin under the sink.
  2. Set up a spot in your yard to dump the compost. For compost bins, you can use deep barrels or heavy-duty plastic bins. You can also make bins out of leftover wood and chicken wire. Allow for 2-3 bins so one can hold fresh compost, while others are for nearly done composting or ready-to-use compost.

  3. Empty the contents of your compost pail into your outdoors compost bin every day. Add in a layer of soil after every inch or so of compostable. Allow nature to do its work and let it decompose. Your compost will be ready in a few months.

Compostables:

  • brown paper bags
  • coffee grinds
  • dirt, dust and floor sweepings
  • egg shells
  • garden and yard clippings
  • hair trimmings and nail clippings
  • leftovers
  • stale bread
  • tea bags
  • vegetable and fruit peelings and seeds

Note: Never compost meat and bones because they’re slow to decompose and can attract maggots and pests.

Source: The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking

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