Beginners’ Guide to Home Composting

Wednesday, April 17 at 11:35 AM
Category: Arvest News

With Earth Day coming up on April 22 you may be contemplating how you can be more environmentally conscious. Composting your kitchen and garden waste is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you throw in the trash. By composting your waste you can generate a free source of rich compost to help improve your garden and to also help reduce global warming.

How does home composting help reduce global warming?
When sent to a landfill, organic waste is compressed under tons and tons of other waste types. The organic waste therefore does not have enough access to air, which restricts the waste from being able to decompose properly. Instead of decomposing, methane gas is produced which contributes to global warming.

The compost bin
The first step to start composting at home is to get a compost bin. You can either purchase a compost bin or you can make your own. Compost bins can be bought from many garden centers.

The next important step is to decide where to position the compost bin, which can affect the overall quality of the compost that is produced. For best results place the bin in a well-drained area which has good access to sunlight. The drainage will enable excess water to drain out of the compost and the sun will help speed up the composting process.

What waste items can I put in my compost bin?
There are lots of everyday waste items from your garden and kitchen that can go into your compost bin. These are broken down into "greens" and "browns." Greens are the type of items that provide moisture and nitrogen and are quick to decompose. Items classed as greens include:

  • Grass cuttings
  • Vegetable peelings
  • Leaves
  • Fruit
  • Tea bags
  • Weeds

Browns are waste items that take longer to decompose but provide pockets of air, along with fiber and carbon. This includes items such as:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Newspapers (scrunched up)
  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Egg shells (crushed)
  • Shredded paper
  • Twigs and hedge clippings

How do I make good quality compost?
To make good quality compost it is important to use a good mix of both green and brown wastes. Monitor the compost and add more waste depending on the look of the compost. For example, if it looks too dry add more green waste, and if it looks too wet add more brown waste. Every so often it is also a good idea to mix or turn the contents of your compost bin to add air.

How long will it take for my compost to be ready to use?
This will vary depending on the mixture of waste that is placed into the compost bin, the surrounding conditions and the weather. In general it should take between six and nine months for your finished compost to be ready to use.

The views of this article are for general information use only. Please contact and speak with a subject expert or your banker when specific advice is needed.

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