5 Easy Steps to Composting

five easy steps to composting

Getting compost together isn’t difficult, nor is managing it. There are just 5 easy steps to composting to get you on your way to all the black gold you could ever want!

Collect Your Green Material

Your kitchen scraps are known as “green” material. Simple enough, right? Grab yourself an old ice cream bucket, an old kitty litter bucket, or any bucket with a lid. Go to your local grocery store’s bakery and ask for an old icing bucket.

They will usually give them out for free so they don’t have to deal with the trash. Store it in an easy to remember space, like either on the counter next to the sink, or under the sink in the kitchen.

To use, simply add all your food scraps; egg shells, that bit of pasta, veggie peelings and used coffee grounds to the bucket.

Avoid adding meat or cheese, as they take a lot longer to decompose. Citrus peels should also NOT be added to the compost bucket for the same reason.

Use the peels to make your own natural cleaner with this recipe. Your grass clippings when you mow the lawn, recently pulled weeds from the garden are also “green” material.

Collect Your Brown Material

This would be shredded newspaper, shredded toilet paper tubes, wood chips, dry leaves, and straw. Instead of recycling that old newspaper, tear it into shreds and layer it on top of the green materials.

You will want to keep a ratio of 4 “browns” to every 1 “green” to keep the compost from smelling. If it starts to smell, you may need to add some more “brown” to the mix.

Have a place to empty the bucket when full

Having an outside compost area doesn’t require a lot of room, really. You can make a compost area out of old pallets, a large piece of chicken wire wrapped around 4 posts, or use a composting barrel.

Simply empty your bucket out there when it gets full. This may present a bit of challenge to those living in an apartment or without a place outside to put a large area. BUT, it can be done.

Keep the compost damp

You don’t want it overly wet, but keeping it damp will help attract worms and keep the compost decomposing. If you find that it seems “dry”, hose it down a bit.

Again, you don’t want to run the water all over, but just so that it’s damp. A nice, “gooshy” mess is what you are looking for. If it gets too dry, the worms will leave and find a more moist home.

Keep the compost turned

This is easy enough to do. For a large compost pile, simply take a pitch fork once a week or so and “turn” the pile, mixing the top down to the bottom as much as possible.

This keeps air going to it, and the decomposition going. The more air it gets, the hotter it will get, and the faster it will decompose.

If you have a small space, or don’t want to use a big pitchfork, a turning bin makes it easy to turn the compost and I have had great success getting good compost in as little as 3 weeks with it!

So, getting your black gold for your garden isn’t hard. Just grab a bucket and you are on your way!

16 thoughts on “5 Easy Steps to Composting”

  1. Amanda @Natural Living Mamma

    We have a compost pile we have been keeping going all winter and I plan on sorting it out and getting the ratios right once the snow melts. I love homemade compost! Thanks for the great post.

  2. I don’t do much of a garden but I’d love to start one. I only have a small flower garden in my back yard. I do save my coffee grinds for my azaleas though because I heard the acidity is good for them

  3. Shannon @ GrowingSlower

    Composting is really so easy! And I love that it diverts most of our food waste from the garbage (whatever doesn’t go to the chickens that is).

  4. Chrystal @ Happy Mothering

    Whenever we finally move to a house we plan on staying at long-term, we definitely plan to compost. I’m using the deep litter method in our chicken coop this year, so we will have compost from that.

  5. Love composting, it makes me happy turning rubbish into such useful stuff, thanks for the tips!! I am not able to turn mine as I have chronic pain but if you have chickens they make fine compost turners and make a great job of it if you cannot do it yourself.

  6. Perfect timing! I was literally thinking this morning that I needed to start composting, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it 🙂

    1. Isn’t it awesome that you don’t need a lot to start off? Composting is so easy, I think that everyone should do it as much as possible.

  7. Greetings from Maine.
    You shared 4 browns to every 1 green to make a good compost mix. Does this means that if I place salad scraps, ie cucumber peels, carrots shavings, brown lettuce leaves, onions scraps..etc into my compost bin I then need to add 4 times that amount (visible measure) in brown ,material to balance it well kind of in an alternately pattern? I want to revamp my composting this summer. Over the winter most all my greens go to my chickens, I never really thought of news papers etc. as brown material, I typically use leaves. Any clarification of suggestions on what this ratio balance looks like would be very helpful!
    Thank you! Tracy G

    1. that’s a starting ratio, and to be honest…I do the best I can to maintain that. If it looks like more kitchen scraps are going in, then I add some shredded newspaper or cardboard in the winter, or grass clippings in the Spring and leaves in the fall. Try not to worry too much about it, but keep it turned and damp if at all possible 🙂 Hope that helps!

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