Are you ready to begin your journey to successfully composting at home?
Are you looking for tips from experts and those who have been composting?
Do you want to know how you can improve your composting?
Whether you’re already composting or plan to, expert tips can always help. And that is just what we are here to help you with today.
Read our huge list of tips from those who’ve been composting. See what works for them and get an idea of how these tips can work for your compost.
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Benefits of tried-and-tested composting tips shared by experts
If you’re a beginner recently started composting, here’s how expert tips can help:
- Learn different tried-and-tested techniques.
- Understand what’s gone wrong with your compost.
- Step-by-step idea about composting.
- Find tips based on your specific needs.
- Easy hacks you may not have tried out yet.
35 composting tips to make your composting experience better
Choosing a compost bin
- Choose a bin based on specific requirements such as how much to compost, where you live, where you can place it and so on.
- Choose size based on whether you’ll place it in a garden or in/near the kitchen.
Where to set up compost bin/pile
- The location of your compost bin or compost pile should be easily accessible convenient for repeated use.
- Place it where you won’t get rotting smells in case the compost process isn’t happening properly.
- Be considerate about your neighbours so that they don’t have to smell it, see it or find it blocking their path.
Ideal recipe/proportions of ingredients for your compost
- The amount of carbon and nitrogen sources in the compost pile affects the outcome.
- Use the 30:1 ratio.
- Add about 30 parts carbon sources with about 1 part nitrogen sources.
- If you are not very sure about how much to add, put equal parts dried leaves and equal parts dried grass.
Best things to add to compost pile
- Kitchen waste
- Dead leaves
- Garden waste
- Vegetable skins
Adding new things to compost without ruining it
- The add-as-you-go method is especially helpful if you are busy and don’t always have enough ready material.
- When adding a new layer, just remember if you added greens or browns the last time, and add accordingly, ensuring an alternate brown-green method. s
Speed up composting rate
- Regularly stir the mix.
- Layer the materials properly.
- Add the right carbon-nitrogen mix.
Keeping pests away
- Never add meat/seafood scraps
- No dairy products
- Add a brown layer of dried leaves, twigs and straw at the bottom
- Keep it covered
- Place it in a well-drained area with some sunlight
- Remove finished compost at regular intervals
Ensuring compost is healthy
- Add the right balance
- Shred some ingredients such as cardboard or peels
- Regularly sprinkle water to keep it moist
- Stir it regularly
Storing used compost
- For gardens, store on the ground, covered with tarpaulin or plastic to prevent water seeping in.
- For homes, store in garbage cans.
- Sprinkle some water regularly to keep it moist.
- Keep stirring at regular intervals.
10. Green materials to put in the compost bin
- Add the right green materials to your compost for adequate amounts of nitrogen.
- Use fresh grass clippings, leaves, non-flowering and unseeded weeds.
Adding chicken manure
- Chicken manure improves the compost health as it is full of nitrogen.
- It will help microorganisms work better and improve the quality of the compost.
Size of the compost bin
- Start with something you have at home, such as a regular plastic garbage bin.
- Customize as required.
- If you’re using a garbage bin, cut out holes on the sides for ventilation.
- Once you’re comfortable, you can choose a bigger size, such as the black compost bins available in the market.
Upgrading to larger compost bin
- Start with a small bin that you already have at home.
- If you feel it’s not enough for the amount of materials you’re adding, shift to a larger one.
Have a good carbon source
- The right amount of carbon will aid the composting process and balance the amount of nitrogen.
- Dead leaves and saw dust are good sources, as are shredded newspaper and shredded cardboard.
- Meat or fish scraps
- Tea or coffee bags
- Sticky labels on vegetables and fruits
- Cooking oil
- Dairy products
- Pet droppings
How to know if compost is ready
- Smells sweet and earthy
- Has a crumbly texture
- Looks dark and rich in colour
Composting in the garden
- Compost on bare earth
- Add plenty of wood shaving
- Regularly add dead leaves
Composting on a farm
- Always keep track of when you added compost and to which patch
- Keep checking for signs of weeds or pests
How to use finished compost
- Add it in your garden to improve plant and soil quality.
- Add it to flowering plants or to the kitchen garden.
- Use it to make your own compost tea.
- Use it as mulch.
- Add it as a top layer around your plants to ensure they keep getting important nutrients regularly.
Computer paper can go in the pile
- Add leftover white computer papers or old newspapers to the pile.
- Shred them to very small pieces to speed up the composting process.
- Avoid coloured papers as they usually have chemicals.
21. Do not add these plants
- While adding plant remains, ensure they have not been treated with pesticides/chemicals.
- If you are not sure, avoid adding to the compost.
22. What colour bin is best?
- The black compost bin works best as it heats up faster than others.
- Alternatively, make sure you place the compost bin where it gets good or partial sunlight.
23. Create a compost pail
- A pail can hold waste through the day, before you throw it in the pile.
- You can create one using an old waste plate/container and keep adding kitchen waste in it through the day.
24. Adding coffee grounds
- You can collect these from your local cafes.
- You can also add some water to it and keep sprinkling to keep compost moist.
25. Benefit of a large pile
- If you have enough storage bins, keep storing all your kitchen and garden waste.
- Once you have enough green and brown mix, make the compost pile.
- A larger pile will heat up faster and as a result, break down faster into compost. This is especially good for winters.
26. Keep the pile moist
- Ensure that the pile is moist.
- Sprinkle water regularly.
- The pile should look damp, not wet.
27. Ideal temperature for the pile
- Use your hand or a thermometer to check the temperature of the pile.
- It should ideally be between 130 and 150 degrees F.
28. Preventing odour
- If your compost is smelly don’t worry.
- Just aerate it and close it back again.
29. Do this if you can’t layer
- If you can’t add individual layers, add everything to the pile.
- Just ensure you stir it to mix well.
30. How to add corn cobs from the garden
- You can definitely add corn cob as well as woody stocks from your garden waste and into the compost pile.
- Just make sure that you first smash them down into very small parts and then add, so that it can all mix in well.
31. Making compost tea
- You can mix compost and water to make compost tea.
- You can add this to your plants instead of using fertilizer.
32. Use compost as mulch
- Once the compost is ready, use as mulch.
- Just add as top layer around your plants to gradually let the nutrients seep in.
33. Place near water source
- If possible, place the compost pile near a water source.
- This will make it easier to add water to keep it moist.
34. Reuse old garbage bags
- If you don’t have the resources, you can also use old garbage bags as a compost bin.
- These are best for small spaces and you can easily place them in the sun.
35. Try sheet composting in garden
- Lay down 3-4 inches of leaves on the bed.
- You can also add some kitchen scraps.
- Fold them under to avoid blowing away.
- Leave in the sun to compost.
Will all composting tips work for everyone?
While these tips are great for composting, it may not always work for you. Try them out for yourself and see which ones work for you.
How to know if a tip will be beneficial for your composting
Choose a style of composting based on how well it matches your needs. If it’s suitable for the type of climate you’re based in, or the space and equipment you have, it could work for you.
Is trial and error the only way to know for sure?
Not all tips will work for you. The outcome depends on ingredients you’re using, the way you’re doing it and the weather! So even if it doesn’t turn out absolutely great the first few times, give yourself time and keep trying.
Now that you know so much about composting, we’d suggest you get into it with an open mind, and don’t look for immediate results.