So I mentioned last week that we started composting. I’ve been scared to try because it looked like a hassle, but we finally did and here’s what we’ve learned about how to compost.
My husband brought home this kitchen composter that’s all cute and sits on our counter. We just dump our kitchen scraps in there (scroll down for a complete list of things to compost) and empty it once a day into our compost bin out back.
At the end of each day, I fill the rest of this container with water, and dump the whole thing in our compost bin out back.
Your compost bin doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I took the largest plastic storage bin I could find, drilled holes in the lid for ventilation, and stuck it in a sunny spot in the backyard near the garden.
I make sure to keep the contents inside damp (that’s why I add the water in with the scraps every night). I give it a little toss each time I add new stuff, and just let it sit.
When stuff has broken down and looks like nice fluffy dirt, I toss it out of the bin, into the garden.
My plants are thriving in it!
And now for the important bits of how to compost —
WHAT TO COMPOST:
-vegetable and fruit scraps and peels (thick peels like oranges and bananas do better if you chop them up)
-coffee grounds and filters
-eggshells (also do better if they’re crushed)
-tea leaves and tea bags
-old potting soil (I always forget and leave mine in my pots long after the flowers are gone and it gets all dry and hard — dump it in the compost bin, mix it up with good things, and add it back)
-leaves and grass clippings (helps if the leaves are shredded, and the grass should be on the dry side)
-cardboard and newspaper (shred first)
you can also compost hair and nail clippings but it grosses me out too much. I can’t. You, though? You go for it.
WHAT NOT TO COMPOST:
-meat and animal fats
If you’re a serious composter, there are ways to compost meat and dairy, but they involve more effort and space than those of us casual composters are going to devote to this project. For us, those things just attract animals and pests and don’t break down well.
If you’re an experienced composter, I’d love any additional tips and advice on how to compost in the comments or on our facebook page! Planting and growing and breaking it all down again — the circle of life, people.
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