dearJulius.com

What to Know About Composting

What to Know About Composting
© Getty Images

By Mikayla Borchert, Family Handyman

Composting becomes more and more popular all the time — and for good reason. It’s healthy for the earth and your garden. And it’s a fun conversation starter. If you’re on the fence about composting, here’s what you need to know before investing any time or money.



What Is Composting

Composting is all about recycling organic waste through natural decomposition. Instead of tossing things like dead flowers and vegetable scraps in the trash, you let them break down into an ultra-nutrient-rich substance called compost. You can buy compost from most landscape and garden centers, but it’s much less expensive and more rewarding to make your own. Plus, by keeping a pile at home, you’ll always have it on hand when you need it.



Composting Bins and Tools

There are many ways to compost. Your chosen style will dictate which tools you need. Some people use a compost bin, some prefer a simple pile and others go for a compost barrel tumbler. You can even keep a small compost bin inside if you lack yard space for a full-sized pile. If you'd rather not build a container, there are plenty of compost tools and accessories available for purchase, including this dual-chamber tumbler and this aerator. If you plan to add fruit and vegetable trimmings to your compost pile, you’ll need a rodent-resistant bin.



How to Compost

Composting is a science. It’s pretty easy to do once you have the right tools and ratio of ingredients. Let’s start with the ratio:

  • One part greens;
  • One part browns.

Things like grass clippings, flowers, coffee grounds, and vegetable scraps are greens. These items provide nitrogen to your compost. Twigs, cardboard, sawdust, and dead leaves are browns. These provide carbon. The final ingredient is water, which you’ll add as needed. These three ingredients — greens, browns, and water — make up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's composting basics.

Once you get your ratio right, composting is surprisingly low maintenance. Oregon Metro recommends keeping the pile damp like a wrung-out sponge. You’ll likely need to spray the pile with water to give it enough moisture, but the time between waterings depends on your local climate. Compost piles in rainy regions won’t need as much care.

Your compost pile also needs oxygen. You can turn it with a pitchfork, stir it with an aerator and tumble it in a barrel tumbler to improve the oxygen flow. You’ll want to allow the temperature to peak before you turn it, so check your pile with a thermometer. Washington State University explains that the temperature sweet spot is 135 to 160 degrees F. When the pile doesn’t have enough oxygen, the temperature will drop. That’s when you want to turn it. The University of Illinois Extension says that should take four to five weeks on average.

When kept at the right temperature with the correct amounts of water and oxygen, compost can be ready in a few months. Otherwise, the EPA says it can take up to two years. So if you’re wondering how to compost more quickly, turning and watering are key.



Composting Benefits and Disadvantages


Pros:

  • Reduces the need for trash pickups, so you can reduce the frequency and save money;
  • Keeps organic waste out of landfills;
  • Lessens the need for lawn and garden fertilizer;
  • Helps your soil retain moisture;
  • Improves soil structure for sandy and clay soils;
  • Balances soil nutrients and pH.


Cons:

  • Takes up space in the yard;
  • It can be smelly if not turned enough;
  • Some find it visually displeasing;
  • Requires some maintenance.



What Can Compost Be Used For?

One of the main composting benefits is its versatility. You can use it all over your yard and garden for a more lush, green space. When it looks like crumbly dirt and smells like hiking through a rainy forest, it’s ready to use.

Mulching with compost is easy and effective. Spread a half-inch layer on top of the soil at the base of your plants, and it will naturally seep down to the roots over time. The layer can also prevent weeds from popping up in your garden.

Mixing compost into the soil takes more work, but the extra time and effort pay off. Spread a one- to two-inch layer on top of your bare garden in the spring. Then, work it into the top three to five inches of existing soil. According to Earth Matter NY, this will amend any type of soil.

You can also add a handful of compost to holes when planting. It will feed the roots as the plant becomes established. This is especially good for vegetable gardens.

You can use compost in potted plants, too. Combine store-bought potting soil with homemade compost to help new additions to your container garden thrive. This is good for indoor and outdoor potted plants. You can also add an inch of compost at the base of old potted plants.



What Not to Compost

The list of what not to compost is short but crucial. Steer clear of everything on the list to ensure your pile composts correctly. The EPA advises against composting these items:

  • Black walnut tree trimmings;
  • Animal products such as dairy, meat, fish, bones or eggs;
  • Diseased or pest-infested plants;
  • Fat, grease, lard or oil;
  • Pet waste, including cat litter;
  • Yard waste with chemical pesticides.



Common Questions and Answers


How much space do I need to compost?

A small but workable pile is three feet by three feet, but it may not be big enough to hold all of the organic waste from a household. If you plan to compost more than just yard waste, you’ll probably need something bigger. Some people prefer to use multiple composting bins instead of one large one.

What if I don’t have a garden?

Compost can also be spread around trees, shrubs, and other landscaping plants. You can add it to potted houseplants or areas of your lawn that need reseeding.

My compost pile smells. Now what?

If your pile goes anaerobic, it may start to smell like rotten eggs. The Cornell Waste Management Institute says to improve aeration by adding woodchips, straw, or other dry materials. Turning more frequently will also prevent unpleasant odors.

How can I prevent my compost pile from attracting pests?

If your pile is for yard waste only, pests won’t be much of an issue. However, when adding food scraps, it’s important to cover them completely. They should be buried several inches deep into the pile.

Can I compost in the winter?

Yes, winter composting is possible. There may be some extra considerations based on where you live. In areas with heavy precipitation, you may want to shelter your pile or add more dry materials. In areas with arid winter conditions, you may need to water the pile more often.

COMMENTS




Made with in NYC
Name

4th of July,7,Abu Dhabi,2,Accessories,84,Acne,3,Adventure,32,Adventure Travel,638,Advice,283,Africa,26,African Food,2,AIDS,1,Air Travel,150,Alabama,5,Alaska,20,Alberta,1,Alcohol,4,All About Beer,1,All About Wine,2,Alternative Treatments,4,America,77,American Food,5,Amsterdam,2,Android,11,Anguilla,3,Animal,367,Animal Health,1,Animals,69,Anniversary,1,Anniversary Cake,11,Antarctica,7,Antigua,3,Appetizers & Snacks,2,Apple,11,Apps,16,Argentina,15,Arizona,19,Arkansas,2,Armenia,1,Asia Travel,47,Asian Food,7,Asthma,4,Athens,3,Austin,8,Australia,92,Australian Food,1,Austria,13,Autism,1,Auto Insurance,1,Auto Show,52,Autos,969,Azerbaijan,1,Baby Shower Cake,29,Back Pain,25,Bahamas,13,Balance Work & Life,50,Banana Cakes,2,Bangladesh,8,Barn Finds,1,Bathroom,43,Be a Better Manager,33,Beach Travel,58,Beards and Shaving,29,Beef Recipes,7,Belarus,1,Belgium,9,Belize,15,Bermuda,5,Best Products,1,Better Partner,40,Beverages,3,Bhutan,9,Bills to Pay,35,Birds,4,Birth Control,1,Birthday Cake,109,Blue Lagoon,2,Blueberry Cake,11,Bolivia,3,Books,2,Botswana,3,Brazil,38,Bread,11,Breads,1,Break Room,12,Breakfast & Brunch,6,Breakup,19,Breakups,3,Broken Hearts,5,Brownie,8,Brunei,1,Budget Travel,97,Bundt Cake,30,Business Skills,102,Butter Cake,52,Buying,1,By Region,3,Cake Decorating,113,Cakes,54,California,109,Cambodia,4,Camera,6,Canada,80,Cancer,73,Car Shows,1,Car Tech,2,Caramel Cake,5,Career,86,Career Advice,298,Career Choice,125,Career Growth,180,Career Paths,24,Career Problem,8,Caribbean,45,Caribbean & Mexico,5,Carrot Cake,22,Cats,49,Celebrity,17,Celebs,1,Ceremonial Cake,9,Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles,1,Cheese Recipes,4,Cheesecakes,251,Chicago,7,Chicago Auto Show,2,Chicken Recipes,14,Chiffon Cake,5,Children's Health,21,Chile,7,China,21,Chocolate Cake,395,Christmas,35,Christmas Cake,23,Christmas Travel,14,Classic Cars,39,Cleaning Tips,144,Clinical Practice,1,Clothes,1,Cocktail Recipes,2,Coconut Cake,21,Coffee,1,Coffee Cake,15,Coliseum,1,Colombia,18,Colorado,32,Columbia,3,Communication,2,Companies,2,Compassion,2,Computing,16,Connecticut,4,Consumer Electronics Show,5,Cookies,10,Cooking,8,Corporate Travel,2,Costa Rica,13,Country Travel,249,Creative,309,Creative Idea,22,Creative Ideas,37,Croatia,15,Cruiser Travel,16,Cuba,18,Cultural Travel,66,Cupcake,322,Customs & Classics,2,Czech Republic,6,D.C.,2,Dandruff,1,Dating,18,Dating Advice,73,Dating Advice for Women,22,Dating Tips,13,Decor,23,Decorating Ideas,181,Delaware,1,Demotivational,636,Denmark,12,Dental Health,26,Dentistry,1,Depression,24,Desert Travel,1,Desserts,3,Detroit Auto Show,4,Diabetes,25,Diet,131,Dining Out,3,Dinner,14,Disease,116,Divorce,15,DIY,112,DIY Fashion,31,Dogs,156,Doughnuts,5,Dress,23,Drink,27,Drinks,1,Drinks & Cocktails,4,Driving,3,Drugs,3,Dubai,15,Ears,2,East Africa,4,Easter,1,Easter Island,1,Easter Travel,1,Eco Travel,18,Ecuador,7,Education,87,Eggs,3,Egypt,4,Electronics,4,Electronics and Gadgets,2,Emirates,1,England,13,Entertainment,148,Enthusiasts,131,Entrepreneurship,40,Estonia,2,Eswatini,1,Ethiopia,2,Europe,110,European Food,8,Exercises,51,Eye Health,28,Facts,284,Fall Travel,43,Family,16,Family Travel,128,Faroe Island,1,Fashion,126,Fashion for Kids,2,Fashion for Man,12,Fashion for Woman,31,Fat Loss,91,Father's Day Cake,4,Father's Day Travel,1,Featured,207,Features,1130,Festival Travel,25,Fiji,6,Finance,4,Finland,16,Fish & Seafood,13,Fitness,746,Fitness & Exercise,219,Florida,69,Food,601,Food and Drink,14,France,37,Frankfurt Motor Show,2,Free Travel,3,French,6,French Polynesia,5,Friendship,40,Fruit & Veggie Recipes,8,Fruitcake,70,Fruits,4,Fuel Economy,1,Funny,546,Gadgets,31,Galapagos,3,Games,12,Garden,24,Gardening,276,Gearheads,1,General,7,Geneva Motor Show,3,Georgia,14,Germany,18,Get Healthy,63,Ghana,2,Girlfriend Grooming,10,Google,15,Graduation Cake,2,Gratitude,11,Greece,37,Green Living,5,Greenland,1,Grooming,89,Guatemala,2,Hair,52,Hair Care,22,Hairstyle,65,Halloween,29,Halloween Cake,12,Halloween Travel,9,Happiness,19,Hawaii,53,Hayden Panettiere,1,Headache,22,Health,724,Health & Fitness,300,Health Care,466,Health Insurance,1,Healthcare Tech,6,Healthy,12,Healthy Eating,186,Healthy Habits,159,Healthy Living,179,Hearing,1,Hiking Travel,63,HIV/AIDS,4,Holiday Travel,28,Holland,1,home,31,Home & Garden,205,Home and Decor,484,Honeymoon Travel,128,Hong Kong,13,Horoscope,31,Hot Rod Power Tour,1,Hotels,71,Housekeeper,8,Hungary,3,Ice cream Cake,21,Iceland,41,Idaho,4,Ideas,11,Illinois,13,Imports,1,Impress a Girl,20,Impress Women,4,Independence Day Travel,1,India,36,Indiana,5,Indonesia,13,Indoor Gardening,69,Industry,5,Inspiration,58,Insurance,5,Internet,19,Internship,8,Interview Skills,37,Investing,12,iPad,2,iPhone,6,Iraq,1,Ireland,36,Island,60,islands,2,Israel,9,Italy,56,Jamaica,8,Japan,44,Jealousy,2,Job Search,47,Jordan,6,Just For Fun,2,Kansas,6,Kentucky,2,Kenya,2,Kids,127,Kids & Pets,10,Kitchen,67,Koala,1,Korea,2,Kyrgyzstan,1,Lamb,2,Laptops,4,Latin America,3,Latin American Food,1,Latvia,1,Laundry,6,Layer Cake,95,Leadership,44,Legs,1,Lemon Cake,18,Life,1,Life Hacks,244,LifeStyle,1300,Lithuania,2,London,24,Long Distance Relationship,24,Los Angeles Auto Show,14,Louisiana,9,Love,130,Lowa,4,Lunch,5,Luxembourg,1,Luxury Travel,35,Maine,6,Maintenance,3,Makeup & Beauty,11,Malaysia,1,Maldives,15,Malta,2,Mango Cake,3,Marketing,10,Markets,11,Marriage,97,Marshmallow,3,Maryland,6,Massachusetts,9,Massage,5,Mauritius,6,Meditation,29,Men & Women,18,Men's,8,Men's Health,14,Mental Health,294,Mexico,74,Miami,13,Michigan,5,Microsoft,6,Middle Eastern Food,2,Mind,3,Mississippi,2,Missouri,7,Mobile,22,Moldova,1,Monaco,1,Money,261,Money & Career,21,Monkey,1,Montana,12,Morocco,20,Mother's Day Travel,1,Motivation,2,Motorcycles,106,Motorsports,2,Mousse,2,Muffins,9,Mug Cake,14,Multiple Sclerosis,1,Muscle Cars,4,Muscle Cars & Hot Rods,3,Muscle Gain,2,Myanmar,9,Namibia,4,Nature,4,Nature Travel,102,Nepal,6,Netherlands,11,Nevada,23,Nevis,1,New Bikes,2,New Car Deals,1,New England,5,New Jersey,2,New Mexico,6,New Year Fashion,6,New Year's Day Travel,6,New York,55,New York Auto Show,3,New York City,20,New Zealand,47,Newfoundland,1,Newlyweds,4,News,334,Nicaragua,2,North America,11,North Carolina,6,North Dakota,1,North Ireland,1,Northern Ireland,1,Norway,20,Nutrition,447,Occasional Travel,9,Oceania,1,Offbeat,1028,Ohio,6,Oman,5,Online Date Tips,2,Operating Systems,2,Oral,4,Oregon,10,outdoor,3,Ownership,61,Pain,24,Painting,16,Pakistan,2,Panama,5,Pancake,19,Panda,1,Panna Cotta,3,Paraguay,1,Parenting,370,Paris,23,Paris Motor Show,4,Pasta,2,Pastry,7,Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance,2,Penguin,4,Pennsylvania,10,Personal Finance,164,Peru,21,Pets,553,Phoenix,1,Photo Feature,1,Pie,27,Plum Cake,1,Poke Cake,10,Poland,3,Popular Ingredients,26,Pork Recipes,7,Portable Media,14,Portugal,21,Pound Cake,55,Prague,1,Pregnancy,72,Premium,1,Printer,2,Protein Bars,1,Psychology,1,Pudding,9,Puerto Rico,7,Pumpkin Cake,45,Qatar,6,Quick & Easy Recipes,11,Real Estate,72,Recalls,4,Recipe,1097,Recipes,52,Recipes & Meal Ideas,3,Recipes By Course,5,Relationship,167,Relationship Advice,180,Relationship Advice for Men,23,Relationship Advice for Women,27,Relationship Problems,58,Relationship Secrets,14,Relationships,207,Research,94,Resort,11,Restaurants & News,13,Resume,11,Retirement,10,Reviews,1,Rhode Island,2,River Travel,2,Road Trips,49,Romania,4,Romantic Getaways,15,Rome,5,Russia,16,Safety,5,Saint Lucia,1,Saint Patrick's Day Travel,1,Salad,6,San Miguel de Allende,1,Scotland,10,Seasonal,56,Seasonal Travel,59,Security,9,Self Help,14,Self-Care,3,SEMA Show,5,Senior Relationship,2,Sex,7,Sexual Health,19,Shanghai Auto Show,7,Shaving,1,Sheet Cake,20,Shirt,4,Shoes,1,Shopping,10,Shots & Shooters,1,Side Dishes,4,Sightseeing Tours,2,Singapore,18,Ski Resorts,10,Skin Care,47,Sleep,62,Slovenia,6,Small Business,163,Smartphone,28,Smile,1,Smoothies & Juices,3,Snacks,1,Social Media,44,Solo Travel,24,Solomon Islands,1,Somoa,1,Soth Africa,1,South Africa,14,South America,3,South Carolina,4,South Dakota,5,South Korea,3,South Pacific,2,Space Travel,14,Spain,33,Special,46,Special Cake,579,Special Feature,113,Special Features,484,Sponge Cake,15,Sports and Exotics,4,Sports Cars,8,Spring Travel,23,Squirrel,1,Sri Lanka,6,Strawberry Cake,22,Stress Relief,35,Stroke,2,Student Travel,1,Style Guide,25,Summer Travel,53,Summer Vacation,8,Supercars,10,Sweden,19,Swiss Alps,1,Switzerland,20,Tahiti,1,Taiwan,3,Tanzania,1,Tarts,12,Taxes,7,Teas,2,Tech,89,Tech Advice,12,Tech Education,7,Tech Hacks,19,Tech Updates,2,Technology,433,Teen Advice,4,Teeth,5,Tennessee,6,Texas,57,Thailand,31,Thanksgiving Cake,4,Thanksgiving Travel,5,Therapy,3,Things to Do,165,Tibet,2,Tips,264,Tips & Tricks,6,Tokyo Motor Show,2,Tools & Skills,16,Top Stocks,1,Traditional Cake,4,Train Travel,23,Training,1,Transportation,22,Travel,512,Travel Advice,64,Travel Apps,1,Travel Guide,40,Travel Tips,149,Trends,7,Trucks,1,True Health,5,Tunisia,2,Turkey,10,Turkish,1,Tuscany,1,TV,2,UAE,10,UK,40,Ukrine,1,Understanding Women,28,Urban Travel,47,Uruguary,1,USA,629,Utah,12,Uzbekistan,1,Vacation Travel,245,Valentine's Day Cake,7,Valentine's Day Travel,1,Vanilla Cake,17,Vegetables,3,Vehicle Travel,2,Venezuela,1,Vermont,4,Victoria Falls,1,Vietnam,5,Virginia,5,Waffles,3,Washington,15,Washington DC,20,Web & Social,17,Wedding,14,Wedding Cake,549,Weddings,60,Weddings Travel,4,Weight Gain,23,Weight Loss,468,Weird,172,Wellness,75,West Indies,2,Wi-Fi,2,Wildlife Travel,13,Winter Travel,56,Wisconsin,5,Women Lifestyle,23,Women's,407,Women's Health,173,Work Environment,77,Workouts,81,Worldwide,155,Wyoming,2,xxx,1,Yemen,1,Yoga,58,YouTube,3,Zadar,2,Zambia,3,Zimbabwe,4,
ltr
item
Home Magazine: What to Know About Composting
What to Know About Composting
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--MMBspt6L4w/XxAHf7XR48I/AAAAAAAAGb4/9VTCihjTP6Q_MhEy7f7IIehPTExKG1W0wCNcBGAsYHQ/s1600/cake.dearjulius.com.jpg
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--MMBspt6L4w/XxAHf7XR48I/AAAAAAAAGb4/9VTCihjTP6Q_MhEy7f7IIehPTExKG1W0wCNcBGAsYHQ/s72-c/cake.dearjulius.com.jpg
Home Magazine
https://home.dearjulius.com/2020/07/what-to-know-about-composting.html
https://home.dearjulius.com/
https://home.dearjulius.com/
https://home.dearjulius.com/2020/07/what-to-know-about-composting.html
true
3672986080801762734
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy