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How to Make Compost at Home

Compost is made of organic materials that can be added to soil in order to help plants grow healthy. This can either be made of yard waste, food scraps, and several other things that we throw away every single day. Making compost will not only benefit your plants, but you also get to help save the environment too. If you are new to this, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to do it at home.

How Does it Work?

organic waste in a pile outside

It might seem like a magic trick – food scraps and leftover food from the previous day’s dinner are turned into a nutrient rich fertilizer. But that is really what happens to a compost pile. Worms, microbes, insects, snails and fungi will decompose the organic material aerobically and this means that they will end up using oxygen while breaking down the materials into pile.

Bacteria are basically the main player of every compost pile. They will break down the plant matter and produce heat and carbon dioxide as a result. Run of the mill microbes will usually start the process, however, as their consumption of the organic materials will increase the temperature of the pile, these heat loving microorganisms will soon take over. Compost could get as much as 140 degrees Fahrenheit of heat as it brews.

Large critters like slugs, worms and insects, will also digest off the decomposing matter and will poop out finished compost as they will munch their way into the pile. Their secretion will actually improve the texture of the compost and will help bind the small articles into much bigger crumbly bits.

Stages

When the organic materials are composted in a batch, it will go through the four stages. These four stages are mesophilic phase, thermophilic phase, cooling phase as well as the curing phase. Although similar phases will occur during the continuous process, they are not as apparent as they are in a batch. As a matter of fact, they might be occurring concurrently instead of sequentially.

The compost bacterial will combine oxygen and carbon in order to produce energy and carbon dioxide. The microorganisms will use some of the energy produced for their growth and reproduction, while the rest will be given off in the form of heat.

When a pile of organic will refuse to undergo the composting process, the mesophilic bacteria will be triggered, which will raise the temperature of the mass up to 44 degree Celsius. This is basically the first stage of the process. The mesophilic bacteria can include the E-coli, as well as other bacterial coming from the human intestinal tract, although these will soon become increasingly inhibited by temperature, since the thermophilic bacteria will take over the transition range of 44 to 52 degree Celsius.

Then the second stage will follow suit, where thermophilic microorganisms will turn out to be very active and will end up producing so much heat. This process will continue up to about 70 degree Celsius, although such high temperature is not common and not desirable in backyard compost.

This stage of heating will take place very quickly and could last for up to a few days, weeks and even months. It will remain localized at the upper portion of any backyard compost bin wherein fresh materials are being added and where in batch compost, entire mass will become thermophilic at once.

After the thermophilic stage, the humanure will appear to be digested, although the coarser organic materials would not. This is where the third stage, which is cooling, will take place. At this point, the microorganisms that were chased by the thermophiles away will be migrating back to the compost and will get to work by digesting those organic materials that were more resistant. Macro-organisms and fungi like sow bugs and earthworms will break down the coarser organic materials into humus.

After the thermophilic stage is completed, the readily available nutrients from the organic materials would have been digested. There will still be plenty of food in the pile and several tasks will need to be done by the creatures at the compost. It will take months to break down the more resistant organic materials into compost that comes from wood materials.

The final stage is the maturing stage, or the stage for curing and aging. This is a long and important phase. Commercial compost professionals will often make composting job as quickly as possible, thereby sacrificing the curing time.  Just like in wine making, the important element to end up with the right equation is patience.

A long period of curing can serve as a safety net for the pathogen destruction. Most of the human pathogens have limited period of viability at the soil and the longer that they will be subjected into microbiological completion of the compost, the more likely that they will be dying in a swift death.

The compost that’s immature could harm the plants. Uncured compost could end up producing substances that are toxic to plants and will rob the soil of its nitrogen and oxygen. So when it comes to doing at home, make sure to allow the compost to reach the full maturity before you start using it.

How Long Does It Take?

compost pile

Depending on the overall quality of the materials used, you should be able to have a mixture right down your composting bin after six months to one year. You may want to consider turning over and mixing the compost bin in order to help make the process of decomposition faster and even.

When it comes to worm bin composting, the more established the worms are, the faster they will end up processing the food scraps. At the start, it could take three months to produce your own soil, however, as soon as the worms are established, the turn around time could take less than one month only.

Benefits of Composting

soil with plants in it

So you might be wondering why a lot of people would choose to do it instead of using commercial fertilizers. You may not be aware, but your decision to compost actually brings lots of benefits for you, for your home, and even in the environment. Below are some of the benefits that you can get from composting.

  • Less garbage – if you decide to make compost, you will end up with less garbage in your home, which could also mean less garbage bills. This is definitely a good idea especially if you are paying extra just to throw your compostable organic wastes into the street, and an easy way to become a little more green. Knowing the rules and regulations regarding waste management in your area is important before you go on to composting. This way, you will know if it is indeed, allowed.
  • Fewer costly dump-runs – if you are regularly running into the dump with several yard waste that could have been composted more easily, you might want to rethink your strategy in order to save some money.
  • Lessen the burden on your local landfills – this is a major issue these days. Government offices and local municipalities are doing their best to educate people on the benefits of recycling and composting so that the landfills will not get congested.
  • Free soil additive and the use of natural fertilizer – a well-made compost is beneficial to your plants. It is naturally balanced with phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium and is rich in nutrients, while having a host of beneficial microorganisms. This means that you’re growing the soil without any artificial inputs like synthetic fertilizers that are often made of a huge amount of nitrogen. And as you know, having a healthy organic soil could produce more nutritious vegetables.
  • Lower water bills when used as mulch – seasonal additions of the compost, for instance, during fall and spring, can help to prevent the soil from getting dried out. The soil will end up retaining moisture beneath the top dressings of the compost and this could mean less watering and as such, there will be less water bill to pay.

Benefits of Using Compost Soil

A lot of people would go for composting in order to lessen household waste. And although minimizing waste is one of the biggest benefits, gardeners will be delighted to know that using nutrient enriched soil can actually benefit their plants in so many ways, and here are some of them.

  • Improve the structure of the soil – the term soil structure refers to the process in which inorganic materials, like sand, clay and silt, will be combined with the decayed organic particles, like compost and humus. Soil that has healthy structure is a bit crumbly to touch, which allows for more room of water, air and energy to be able to move freely. Moreover, adding compost into your garden can also help to neutralize the soil’s pH level, thereby improving the soil’s CEC or Cation Exchange Capacity. This will also improve the soil’s ability to be able to hold enough nutrients for the plant to use.
  • Increase the content of nutrients – once the organic materials are broken down to a compost pile, the process of decomposition will produce the best fertilizer within a soil food web. The soil food web is basically a community of organisms that live in the soil. This comprises of microorganisms like fungi and bacteria, as well as the macro-organisms like the beetles and worms. Although seeing these critters crawling around your garden soil might not sound appealing, they are actually essential to healthy soil and will help to improve your crop production.
  • Less water – improving the overall structure of your garden soil while boosting its nutrients will certainly lead to the production of healthy crops. Fertile soil also means greater moisture retention, which allows you to make use of less water into your garden. With the introduction of the organic matter into your garden soil, it will be better equipped to retain water and avoid compaction, thereby preventing runoff and erosion. In addition, adding compost into your sandy soils can also help to improve moisture dispersion by allowing the water to laterally move.
  • Minimize plant diseases – research shows that garden soil that’s treated with compost tends to produce plants that have fewer problems on pests. This is because it helps to control the pests and diseases that might otherwise overrun in a more sterile soil that lacks natural checks.  Both the microorganisms and the critters that consider soil their food web home, will end up decomposing organic compounds, such as pesticides, plant residues and manure, thus, preventing these compounds from becoming pollutants. As such, the addition of compost will not only benefit your garden, but the surrounding environment too.

Starting A Pile

look inside a container with organic waste

Now that you know the various benefits, you are probably ready to start the process. But how do you go about it? Read on to find out the steps on how to start a compost pile.

  • Begin your pile on a bare earth. This will allow worms as well as other organisms to aerate the organic compost and get transported into the garden soil.
  • Lay the straw and twigs first for about a few inches deep. Doing this can help to aid in better drainage will also helping to aerate the pile.
  • Add the materials by layering them and alternating the dry and moist materials. Some of the moist materials are tea bags, food scraps, seaweed, etc. On the other hand, dry materials are straw, sawdust pellets, leaves, wood ashes and twigs. If you got some food ashes, then sprinkle them in layers because they could end up clumping together and will take time to be broken down.
  • Next, add the manure. Green manure, such as the grass clippings, wheatgrass, buckwheat and clover should be added first. These materials are sources of nitrogen and can help to activate the pile while speeding up the process.
  • Make sure to keep the compost moist at all times by watering it occasionally or exposing to the rain.
  • Cover it with plastic sheeting, wood or carpet scraps. Covering can help to retain both moisture and heat, considered as the two essential components of compost. Moreover, covering it can also help to prevent your compost from being overwatered by the rain. It must always be moist, but not soaked.
  • After a few weeks, consider giving your compost pile a turn using a shovel or pitchfork. This will help to aerate it. Oxygen is needed in order for the aeration process to work, while turning will also add more oxygen into the pile. You can skip the process if you have enough supply of the coarse materials such as straw.

Tips

Composting is one of the simplest methods of adding nutrients to your plants, which can help to fuel their growth and restore their vitality. What’s great is that composting is free and is definitely easy to prepare and most of all, it is good for the environment. Here are some tips and tricks when it comes to composting.

Composting is one of the simplest methods of adding nutrients to your plants. Click To Tweet
  • Grass clippings can help to add the necessary nitrogen into the pile, but make sure to mix it with the “brown” ones that can help to add carbon. Both are important for the quick decomposition. Piles that are made of only grasses will compact and will take a lot of time until such time that it starts to stink.
  • Newspaper and plain white paper coming from your computer is also great for composting. Just make sure that you shred it well before you mix it in in order to speed the process up.
  • When adding ashes into your compost, make sure you do it sparingly. These ashes are alkaline and could affect the pH off the pile. On the other hand, acidic materials that you can add are oak leaves and pine needles.
  • When your compost is finished, it should feel, look and smell like a dark and rich soil that you will not be able to recognize any items that you throw in there.
  • The more that you will add organic materials one at a time, the more the mass will heat up. This means that a one huge pile is much better than throwing in several smaller pieces.
  • Bacteria can work best between neutral and acidic conditions, having a pH range of 5.5 and 8.
  • Finished compost will usually be less than half the volume of all the materials you have started with, although it is also much denser.
  • Seaweed and algae can make for an excellent addition to your pile. Make sure however that you rinse off any of the salts before you add it in your pile.
  • The more green materials you will add to your pile, the less water you will need.
  • Most of the kitchen waste, including fruit rinds, vegetable peels, coffee grounds as well as egg shells and tea bags can be used to feed the worms. However, dairy products and meat should never be added into a worm compost bin.
  • Maintaining a carbon nitrogen ratio of around 30 parts carbon to one-part nitrogen is important in order to achieve high quality composting.
  • Fish and meat can be composted, however, your bin should be animal-proof and that it could attract flies. In most cases, the materials must generally be avoided when it comes to composting.
  • A compost bin that works well can produce temperatures of up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
A compost bin that works well can produce temperatures of up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Click To Tweet
  • Anything that is living at one time is perfect for compost bins. You can perhaps go for grass clippings, vegetables and leaves.
  • Corncobs and woody stalks coming from the garden have the ability to decompose slowly. You can simply smash them with rock or hammer in order to make for the microorganisms easier in your pile in order to break these down.
  • Most of the nitrogen-enriched materials, such as the grass clippings, do not have enough structural strength and could collapse during the process of decomposition. It is therefore a good idea to mix hedge trimmings, shredded newspaper as well as other fibrous materials in order to help improve the circulation of air.

What Can Be Composted?

food waste on wooden background

If you are new to this, do not get too caught up with the amount of organic materials to include. Instead, focus your attention in ensuring that your pile will get sufficient amount of the carbon-containing materials than those nitrogen-containing materials. For example, if you are adding lots of freshly cut grasses, then you may also need to add more newspaper clippings.

Here are some of the most common sources of carbon containing materials:

  • Dried grass clippings
  • Dried leaves
  • Old hay
  • Paper towel
  • Pine needles
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded cardboard
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Small branches and twigs
  • Straw
  • Tissue paper
  • Wood ashes
  • Wood chips

Below are some of the most common sources of nitrogen containing materials:

  • Fresh grass clippings
  • Weeds
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Manures
  • Freshly cut hay
  • Seaweed
  • Alfalfa
  • Hair/fur
  • Fish emulsions
  • Blood meal

What Not to Compost

Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to get overwhelmed with the process. Yet, what they did not know is that there are actually certain materials that must never go to compost. Below is a list of some things that people mistakenly compost when they should not.

There are things you should not include in your compost pile. Read what they are. Click To Tweet
  • Bread products – this includes pasta, cake and baked goods. Adding these will just invite unwanted pests.
  • Cooking oil – oil will smell like food to animal and insects. Not only that, oil will upset the moisture balance of your compost.
  • Diseased plants – these plants should be thrown away in order to avoid the transfer of bacterial and fungal problems to your plants.
  • Printed-paper – magazines, catalogs, etc., must not be included in the compost since the chemicals from the ink could get added to the compost.
  • Animal and human feces – these are too much of a health risk, and this includes the kitty litter.
  • Meat products – this is another pest magnet and should not be added to your compost.
  • Milk products – although milk, yogurt, cream and cheese will degrade, these will just attract more pests.
  • Sawdust – you can include sawdust, but only if the wood is untreated.
  • Stubborn garden pants – ivy and dandelions are just some of those weeds and plants that will just end up growing in your compost instead of getting decomposed.
  • Used personal products – diapers, tampons and soiled items are a health risk.
  • Walnuts – these nuts contain a compound known as juglone and are toxic to certain plants.

Best Worms for Composting

man holding up soil with worms in it

Classes on composting with worms have gotten more and more popular these days. Unfortunately, most people think that all worms are alike, when they are definitely not. As you may not know, there are more than a thousand species of worms available. Read on to find out the best worms to use.

  • Red wigglers – these worms are considered the kings of composters and are more commonly used for Vermicomposting and Vermiculture in the world. In fact, the Red Wigglers worms set the standard for all composting worms.
  • European night crawlers – these worms are also good composters, however, they are a lot less voracious as compared to the Red Wigglers.
  • African night crawlers – thee worms are every bit as vigorous as that of the Red Wigglers, however, their sensitivity to cold temperature reduces the demand for these worms to be used for composting.
  • Alabama Jumpers – these are considered poor composters, since they would prefer leaf litter instead of kitchen scraps. These worms would rather live in soil that is rich in organic materials.
  • Canadian night crawlers – they are not considered worms for composting. In fact, if there’s an anti-composting category of worms, these worms will sure set the standard. They are deep diggers and will not swarm food, but are not good at reproducing. Moreover, these worms are hard to maintain.

Temperatures

man holding soil

Temperature is one of the most important indicators. Heat is generally a byproduct of the microbial breakdown of organic materials in your compost and you can use the temperature to gauge how well the system works and how far along the decomposition has already progressed. For instance, if your compost reached 50 degree Celsius, then you can deduce the ingredients that contained enough nitrogen and moisture to encourage rapid growth of bacteria.

In order to take your temperature reading, make sure that you use a probe that will go deep into the pile. Simply leave the probe long enough until such time that the reading will start to stabilize, and afterwards, move it into a new location. Take the readings to various locations, including at several depths from the sides and top. Compost might have hotter and colder packages depending on the overall moisture content as well as the chemical composition of the ingredients.

By graphing the temperature over time, you could guess how far the decomposition has already progressed. The system that’s well constructed could heat up to 50 degree Celsius within 2 to 3 days. As a readily decomposable organic matter will become depleted, the temperature begins to go down and the process will slow down considerably.

The temperature at any point will depend primarily on how much heat the microorganisms will produce and how much is lost by means of surface cooling and aeration. How long the system will remain hot will therefore depend on the chemical composition of the organic ingredients and the size as well as the shape of the system. Moisture content could also affect the change in temperature because water often has a higher specific heat as compared to most materials and drier mixture will tend to heat up and cool more quickly than the wetter ones.

What Can Be Found In A Compost Bin?

A compost bin contains a full spectrum of plant nutrients, although the exact amount will vary from one bin to another. Well-rotted compost is often rich in these three main fertilizer nutrients:

  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen
  • Potassium

Moreover, it often contains micronutrients as well as trace materials that you cannot find on commercial fertilizers and these are the following:

  • Boron
  • Calcium
  • Carbon
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Sulfur
  • Zinc

It also does the following:

  • Improve the texture of the soil.
  • Regulate the pH level.
  • Regular the soil moisture.
  • Encourage microbes that are critical for transferring nutrients into plant roots.

So as you see, not only does it contain nutrients that are in the form of a slow-release organic, but it also makes these nutrients more available for your plants to use. Compost is basically nature’s ultimate fertilizer and soil conditioner. Moreover, it is gentle enough to use on your plants.

How to Make a DIY Compost Bin

When it comes to composting, a lot of people would think about a giant heap of smelly materials and soil at the backyard. But this is not the case if you use a compost bin. This easy DIY bin will give you the opportunity to try to compost without putting so much commitment into it, and without the added cost and space.

To begin with, you need to prepare two materials, and these are the storage bin and the drill. Remember that when it comes to your storage bin, the darker it is, the better. You also don’t need to purchase a new drill. You can simply borrow one from your neighbor or anyone you know who has it.

Once you have the materials, begin by drilling holes all over the storage bin. Make sure to drill holes at the bottom in order to allow for enough drainage. It’s important that all four sides and the bottom part of the bin are covered entirely with holes. You must also drill holes into the lid, too. This is to allow for air to be able to circulate well.

After drilling holes, you can now begin with preparing your compost. So pour some dirt into the bin. You can use cheap topsoil if you want to. You can then pour in some vegetable scraps, fruit peelings and other plant trimmings and clippings.

Anytime you will add contents into the bin, you may need to shake the bin a bit. This can help to aerate the pile and allow for it to process faster and more efficiently. Attach your lid securely on the bin and rock it from side to side. Now you have a bin that you can place anywhere to decompose.

Activities for Kids

Kids will learn more about composting if they will have their own bin or container. A plastic bin or garbage can that’s about three feet wide and three feet tall should be enough. Drill huge holes in the lid and small holes at the bottom and sides in order for the air to circulate. Here are more ideas for kids to consider.

  • Soda bottle composting – rinse a soda bottle, screw it at the top firmly and take the label off. Create a flip top at the bottle by cutting most of the way around for about a third of the way into the bottle. Place layer of soil at the bottom of the bottle and moisten with some sprays of water bottle. Add thin layer of dirt and some tablespoon of fertilizer, urine or chicken manure, as well as a layer of leaves. Continue to pour layers until such time that the bottle is almost full.  Roll the bottle around each day in order to mix the contents. It will be ready to use once it is brown and crumbly. It should take a month or so.
  • Worm composting  – kids will also love worm composting. You can create a worm farm using a plastic bin by drilling several holes at the sides, top and the bottom. You can then make bedding for the worms using newspapers that were torn into small strips that is soaked into water. Wring the wet newspapers out until it has the consistency of a damp sponge. Fluff it up in order to form a layer that is about six inches deep. Mist the bedding with some water once it starts to dry out.

Red wigglers can make for the best composting worms. You can make use a pound of worms for a two-foot square bin or about half a pound of the smaller ones. Feed the worms by tucking in fruit and vegetable scraps to the bedding. Begin with a cup of scraps about twice in a week. If there are leftovers, cut back on the amount of food. Once the food is totally gone, you may want to give them a bit more.

Kitchen Containers

Sometimes, it might make more sense to throw in leftovers and food scraps into an accessible bin. These days, more and more people are using kitchen composters because of its convenience. If you are thinking of doing the same, here are some of the best bins that you may want to check out.

  • Sure-Close Kitchen Composter (1.9 gallon)
  • OXO Compost Bin (0.75 gallon)
  • Exaco Kitchen Compost Waste Collector (2.4 gallon)
  • Full Circle Kitchen Compost Collector (1.5 gallon)
  • Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin (1 gallon)
  • LINKYO Compost Bin with Filters (1 gallon)
  • VonShef Countertop Kitchen Compost Bin (1.2 gallon)
  • Typhoon Summer House Compost Caddy (0.7 gallon)
  • Norpro Ceramic Compost Keeper (1 gallon)
  • PriorityChef Stainless Steel Compost Bin (1 gallon)

Accelerator Recipe

In order to come up with hot compost pile, you need to have a combination of green, brown and nitrogen enriched materials. A well-built pile will provide its own acceleration by a naturally occurring process known as decomposition, although there are also several other methods of accelerating your pile. Here are some tips to consider.

  • Chop up ingredients – the first step is to chop up all of the ingredients you are going to use. Run the lawn mower over the dead leaves, chop the kitchen wastes up and shred the paper products in order to accelerate the process of decomposition. While the larger piece will break down into compost eventually, cutting everything about two-inch chunks can help to give the bacteria more exposed surfaces, which also speeds up the process.
  • Add the stinky stuff – as you layer the brown and green matter, the shredded paper as well as the dead leaves and kitchen waste, you can then add several layers of fresh manure of rabbit, horse and chicken. The manure is often high in nitrogen, which makes them a better accelerator. It will heat the pile and keep it hot while the bacterial will work in breaking down the ingredients of the pile.
  • Wet it down – you can add small amount of water on each layer of the pile as you make it. Without water, the bacteria could dry up quickly and will eventually die. The pile must be moist, however, it should not be too soggy. Check your pile regularly and if needed, pour in more water. Some of the gardeners will cover their compost pile with tarp in order to keep the rain from soaking up the pile and cooling it down.

How to Speed Up The Process With Aeratorsa large compost pile

 

Whether you are composting in a bin, pit, or a pile, you might be using a fork and some other tools in turning it. Aerating your mass will allow for more oxygen and moisture to help the microorganisms, keeping them warm and wealthy, while making the pile to smell like good dirt. But mixing the pile using a fork requires so much time and effort. The use of compost aerator is a better alternative, although it is not really as effective as using a fork for turning. A corkscrew design for an aerator can help to solve all these problems.

As you pull up, the corkscrew will hold on to the material and will lift the compost up thoroughly from the bottom in order to efficiently mix everything. You can work all throughout the bin layer by layer and your compost will eventually be mixed away in only a few minutes.

How Often Should You Turn It?

As you know, compost will add an amazing amount of nutrients and other helpful microbes into your soil and this is why it is important that you turn it as often as you can. Basically, the biggest benefit of turning your compost comes down to aeration. Decomposition takes place due to the microbes that need to breathe well in order to live better. If there is not any oxygen, the microbes will eventually die and decomposition will be greatly slowed down.

How often you will turn your compost will mainly depend on certain factors, and this includes the amount of materials in the pile, the ratio of green to brown, as well as the amount of moisture that’s in the pile. Thus, a good rule of the thumb would be to turn a compost tumbler after about three to four days while the pile should be turned after three to seven days. As your compost will mature, you can choose to turn the pile less frequently.

Some of the signs that you might need to keep on turning the pile more often include pest infestations, slow decomposition, as well as bad smells.  Be aware however that if your compost will begin to smell, turning the pile could make the smell worse. Thus, consider the wind direction before doing so.

Remember that your pile is among the greatest tools that you have to come up with a good garden. Thus, it just makes a lot of sense to make the most of it. Turning your compost can help to make sure that you will get the most out of your compost pile as quick as possible.

Grinders

A grinder can turn scrap bushes, food and garden wastes into a mulch or compost. Although most gardeners will choose to grind or shred organic materials for compost manually, using a grinder can actually save so much time and effort. The equipment can shred leaves and other garden scraps into pieces and in only a few minutes, you will already have quick compost. Furthermore, it can reduce autumn leaves into a compact and finely ground some organic materials for compost.

Commercial compost grinders are available as gasoline or electric powered. The electric ones are great for small properties. They are quiet, light and well capable of chopping almost all kinds of garden trash. They will however require heavy-duty extension cord and a circuit that has a slow blow fuse since at the start, they could momentarily draw as much as 40 amps.

If your compost needs are modest, and you have a large property, you may want to consider using smaller gas powered models. There is a voltage drop at the long runs of extension cord and some of the electric powered ones do not do well at the end of the 200 foot cord. Those with ample spaces in their yard and have lots of trees, can go for the 5-hp or 8-hp gas powered grinder.

Composting In An Apartment

Are you living in an apartment complex or at a condominium and you think you cannot compost since you got no backyard? Well you better think again. Composting indoors is definitely possible and in fact, the process is fairly easy. If managed well, the bin will not end up attracting rodents or pests and will not smell bad either. Read on to find out how you can go about this.

  • First of all, you need to prepare the things you will need. First, you need a container that has two lids, food scraps, non-coated paper, water and some worms. It’s highly recommended to get those red wigglers because these worms are known as the king of composters.
  • Next, prepare your container by creating holes at the bottom and right above the container to provide proper drainage and ventilation. It’s important that your container is made of either ceramic or plastic. There should be two lids because you will use the other lid below the container for the water drainage. You can also choose to purchase pre-made worm bins at a local garden supply store if you cannot find any container.
  • The next step is to shred the paper to about an inch. You can use old bills, newspapers and anything that is uncoated.
  • Soak the paper in water and wring afterwards in order for the paper to stay moist but not dripping.
  • Place half of your soaked paper to a container. It does not really need to be exact, but fill the container to about 1/3 of the way. Next, add the worms and the food scraps. Bury them below the remaining half of the damp paper.
  • Next, look for a suitable place in your apartment to store the bin. It should be in a cool place that does not have a lot of sunshine.
  • Continue adding scraps until such time that you have more soil in it than scraps. Let the mixture sit until all of the scraps have been fully composted.

So as you can see, coming up with compost is possible even if you are living in an apartment building or in a condominium. After you have done all the steps above, you will have compost that you can use after only a few months. There are so many ways in which you can use the compost even if you got no garden in your apartment.

You can perhaps use it as fertilizers for the potted plants in your balcony or give it to a friend as gift. Perhaps, you can also sprinkle it across in a lawn at your building. Whatever you choose to do with it, the thought of using food wastes to something useful is really fulfilling.

Science Behind

If you really want to understand the science behind, we encourage you to watch this video.