4 Different Ways to Build Your Own Compost Bins

Want to build your own compost bin but aren't sure where to start? In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen walks through how to build your own compost bin by following some very simple steps!

compost bin

You may be interested in building your own compost bin. By composting food scraps, you keep this biodegradable material out of the landfill and upcycle it into something more useful. Generating your own compost is like having your own free, high-quality, nutritious fertilizer source. It is fairly simple to start composting and easy to do on a budget.

You do not need a fancy or expensive bin to create your own garden-enriching compost. You don’t even need to buy a pre-made compost bin. Creating a useful outdoor bin for your yard or garden is very simple. With a basic setup, you can even start composting in an apartment.

All you need to get started are basic tools and some supplies that can be easily found at your local hardware store. In this article, we will look at four different super simple composting ideas to start today!


What Can I Put in My Compost Bin?

Close-up of male hands pouring organic waste from a white bucket into a large compost bin in the garden. The container is filled with dry leaves and debris. The white bucket contains banana peels, orange peels, leftover onion and potato peels.
Compostable materials should be plant-based and biodegradable.

Before we begin, it is important to know what should go in your compost bin once you’ve built it. You can compost many things, but everything should be plant-based, biodegradable matter. Do not include any meats, bones, or dairy. These will rot, stink, and attract undesirable insects and rodents.

The only exception to this rule is that you can add crushed eggshells. Just be aware that these decompose slowly and will likely not break down before using your compost.

One thing to note, items with the label “100% Compostable” can be misleading. These items typically need to be composted in a commercial facility and are not suitable for a home compost bin.

Compostable Items

  • Fruit scraps, including peels
  • Vegetable scraps, including peels
  • Eggshells (crushed into very fine pieces or a powder)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Paper tea bags (without staples) – be careful that it’s not a plastic mesh tea bag!
  • Dryer lint from organic materials (do not compost acrylic or other manmade fibers)
  • Stale bread
  • Plain pasta
  • Plain grains (rice, oatmeal, quinoa)
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Garden debris, as long as it isn’t diseased or insect-infested

Do Not Compost

  • Large amounts of citrus peel (if adding to a worm bin – in a pile, it’s fine)
  • Meat
  • Fat
  • Bones
  • Dairy
  • Pet waste or litter
  • Inorganic materials: plastic, glass, metal, tinfoil
  • Chemicals
  • Weeds that have gone to seed
  • Diseased plant material

Brown vs. Green Organic Materials

View of the top of a pile of organic matter in a square container made of round wood logs. There are two round plastic containers sitting inside of each other in the back left corner. There is a long, rectangular shaped item in the back right corner. The organic matter is made up of green leaves, flowers, brown leaves, vegetable peelings, small sticks, and lettuce leaves.
It is important to have the right balance of brown and green organic matter in your compost pile or bin.

To promote beneficial microorganisms, you must balance the ratio of carbon-rich to nitrogen-rich organic materials. Oregon State University recommends a ratio of 2 parts carbonaceous (“brown”) materials to 1 part nitrogenous (“green”) material.

Brown Materials Include

  • Twigs
  • Dry leaves
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Straw
  • Wood chips or mulch
  • Any dry plant material or prunings

Green Materials Include

  • Vegetable and fruit kitchen scraps
  • Fresh grass clippings
  • Plant stalks
  • Green hedge trimmings
  • Coffee filters and tea bags
  • Manure

Compost will break down and decompose over time. You should see your outdoor compost pile steaming if you reach the proper ratio of browns to greens. This is a good indication that it’s time to turn it. Use a pitchfork or shovel to aerate and flip the pile.

Note: Composting manure is a bit trickier and requires closer temperature monitoring. A compost thermometer will help you confirm that the pile’s center reaches 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill off any pathogens.

4 Homemade Compost Bins

There are several ways to build an at-home compost bin, and each one is fairly simple. You can either set it up indoors or outside. Only a few easy-to-find materials are needed. Let’s take a closer look at four different ways you can make your own compost bins at home.

Small Worm Composter for Indoor Use

Close-up of a small-scale composter in the kitchen. The composter consists of two small gray plastic boxes inserted one into the other. The box is filled with potting mix, worms and various organic waste.
Vermiculture composting indoors using a plastic bucket or bin is convenient and efficient.

Do you live in an apartment or townhouse but still want to try composting?

Indoor vermiculture composting is easy to do indoors in a plastic bucket or bin. You can create an indoor composter without worms, but worms help break things down much faster and more efficiently. When you are working in a small space, this can be really handy!

The two-bin system reduces odors and ensures proper aeration. Buy two bins that can be stacked together, one inside the other. They should be medium to large-sized, and rectangular, opaque plastic.

The inner bin will be where you place your compost. It needs a lid and ventilation holes. The outer bin will catch any liquid drainage from the inner bin. It does not need a lid but may need ventilation holes that line up with the inner bin’s ventilation holes for easy airflow.

Gather Your Supplies

  • Two plastic bins
  • Electric drill
  • Soil
  • Shredded newspaper or sawdust
  • Composting worms such as red wigglers (available from online retailers)

Prepare the Worm Composter Bins

Close up of a person using an electric drill to drill holes in the bottom of a square, navy, plastic container that is flipped upside down.
Drilling drainage and ventilation holes are a necessary first step when it comes to preparing your own compost bins.

First, you need to drill holes in the inner bin. The bin needs decent air circulation to work properly. As organic matter breaks down, it will release fluids and you want these fluids to drain out the bottom and not become stagnant in the container.

Use an electric drill with a fairly large drill bit to drill a series of holes around the top of the inner bin and in the lid for ventilation. Also, drill holes in the bottom of the inner bin for drainage.

Space the holes every 3 to 4 inches around the inner bin’s top rim area and bottom. If you are adding some side ventilation in a part of the inner bin that will be covered by the outer bin, set the inner bin into the outer bin and drill through both to ensure good airflow.

Next, it’s time to fill the bin with habitat for the worms. Install fine mesh or nylon screening as a layer at the bottom to prevent worms from escaping through the drain holes and into the liquid catchbasin. A layer of landscaping fabric is a good alternative if you don’t have screening.

Add a layer that is a few inches deep of topsoil into the inner bin. Then, add another layer of lightweight, absorbent material, such as shredded newspaper or sawdust. This layer should be at least 4 inches deep to act as the “bedding” for your worms to live in; most compost worm species are epigeic species that live in debris at the very surface of the soil. It can be helpful to pre-moisten this layer to ensure the worms stay hydrated and happy.

Use the Right Worms

Close up of red wiggler worms in moist, dark soil with blades of yellowed grass in the soil.
Using the right worms for your vermicompost will lead to better results.

Once you’ve installed the “bedding,” it’s time to introduce the worms. The best worms for indoor vermicomposting are red wigglers (Eisenia fetida) but European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis) are a popular second choice. Find them through a reliable online worm farm that guarantees live delivery and that specifies the species of worms you’re getting.

Don’t dig up garden worms or night crawlers from outside. Most common garden worms are endogeic or deep-dwelling species that do not live long in an indoor composting environment, whereas red wigglers or European nightcrawlers do very well.

Once you’ve added the worms to the bin, leave the lid off and shine a bright light into it. The light will encourage the worms to dig down into their new bedding. Once they have, you can put the lid in place.

Add Food Scraps

Close up of a person's right hand using a wooden shovel with an orange blade to dig a small pocket in the bottom left corner of a rectangle brown bin filled with soil and light brown decomposing bits. There are yellow food scraps, including banana peels, going into the pocket.
The pocket method is one way to feed food scraps to the worms in your bin.

When you are ready to add food scraps, remove the lid and look inside. Are your worms happily hidden in their bedding? If so, you’re in good shape.

There are two ways that you can feed your worm bin: the pocket method or the surface feeding method.

The Pocket Method

In the pocket method, you will dig out a small pocket of the bedding in one corner of the bin and add food scraps there, then cover it back over with more bedding. If the food scraps are particularly wet or have lots of water (like watermelon rind), add some dry bedding underneath the food scraps in the pocket before you put the scraps in.

When you feed the next time, choose a different corner to feed in, and gradually work around the corners, spacing out feedings to about once a week to begin. By the time you get back to the first corner, all the food should be gone. If it’s not, you may need to slow down your feedings a bit more. If the worms eat the food faster than expected, you can always feed more often!

The Surface Feeding Method

In the surface feeding method, you’ll create a layer, no deeper than an inch, of food waste across the surface of the damp bedding. Top this layer with 2-3 inches of dry bedding to help absorb extra moisture that is released as the food breaks down.

Just like with the pocket method, if something’s particularly wet, add a little dry bedding underneath it too. Since you’re adding a lot of food at once in this method, you will want to wait until the worms consume most of what’s there before repeating this process.

It may take a while to gauge the amount of food scraps your worms can eat because not only are your worms eating the food you’re adding, but they’re eating their bedding too! A very rough estimate is that in perfect conditions with happy worms, a red wiggler can eat about 1/4 of its own weight in bedding and food waste each day.

This means that in those perfect conditions, a pound of red wigglers should be able to eat about 1/4 pound of bedding and food waste. However, this is only an estimate as you’re dealing with living creatures, and just like us, they may be ravenous some days and not hungry at all on other days.

Keep in a Cool and Ventilated Location

Close up and top view of a gray rectangle plastic container with a thin brown paper layer on the top. Dark soil, strips of paper, and crushed egg shells rest on the paper layer. The container is raised and stands on blond wood flooring.
Proper temperatures that are on the cooler side are best for keeping up a worm compost bin.

Place the bin in a fairly cool location, ideally between 55°F and 75°F. Composting worms will die if they are subjected to below-freezing temperatures, but they’re also unhappy if it’s too hot. They can try to escape the bin if there’s not enough ventilation or it’s too warm for them.

Red wigglers can tolerate a little more warmth than European nightcrawlers and will usually be okay up into the 80s, but European nightcrawlers need that ideal temperature range for best colony development.

Keep your bin in a well-ventilated location with plenty of airflow. In addition, keep these out of direct sunlight, as the sun can heat up the bin and make your worms try to escape. A basement, a cool garage, or an out-of-the-way place in your kitchen are good options.

Worm Bin Care

Person using both hands to press down on sawdust in the top right corner of a rectangle brown plastic container filled with dark soil with light brown bits. A round orange bucket of sawdust sits on the floor next to the stack of other brown rectangle containers.
Add bedding, such as sawdust, to the worm bin to absorb moisture.

Every week or so, check on your pockets (if using the pocket feeding method) or your food layer (if doing surface feeding) to see how the worms are doing. Adjust your timing as your worm population grows and gets hungrier.

If a smell comes from the bin, it’s likely to come from excess moisture drained out of the top bin. It’s ideal to check for any moisture in the bottom bin every few days and drain it off. That will help to eliminate odors.

Adding too much food for your worms to handle can also cause odors to form. When you start your bin, monitor more regularly to see how fast they eat. It can take up to a week for a new batch of worms to settle into a new home and start eating their food, so start with light feedings and gradually increase as they speed up their feeding.

If you see gnats around your worm bin, don’t panic! Add some sheets of damp newspaper on top of the bedding, tucking them in around the edges like you would a bedsheet, then place more dry bedding on top. This creates a layer the gnats can’t get through to lay eggs, reducing their numbers. When you feed, push back the drier bedding, lift up the newspaper, and feed underneath the paper sheet before tucking it back in.

How to Harvest Vermicompost

Close up of a hand wearing a blue rubber glove inserted into a large round black plastic container of rich, dark, moist soil with a few worms in it.
The compost should be uniform with no visible food scraps when it is ready to harvest.

It can take 3-4 months for a new indoor worm bin to produce a small amount of usable compost initially. However, after the worms have become acclimated to their new home and have started to increase their population, you’ll be able to harvest your bin every couple of months thereafter.

Worm compost is ready to harvest and use when it is fairly homogenous, generally dark brown, and there are no more obvious chunks of identifiable food scraps. All food scraps should be thoroughly broken down before it is ready to use. Hard items like eggshells and avocado peels are the exception, as these will take much longer to break down thoroughly.

Most of the “finished” compost will be at the bottom of the bin, while the “unfinished” stuff the worms are still working on is on top. Stop feeding about a week before your planned harvest to give the worms time to finish their existing food and let the finished material work its way down.

On harvest day, gently pull any uncomposted material to one side of the bin, removing the finished material at the bottom and setting it into another container. Shift the unfinished material to the emptied side, and then repeat on the other side to remove the rest of your compost.

Gather the compost with your hands, a cup, or even a large spoon and transfer it to another container until you are ready to use it. If possible, have some ventilation in the new container in case you missed a few worms so they can survive until they get into the garden!

How to Remove Worms From Harvested Compost

Two hands wearing black rubber gloves holding dark, moist soil with red wiggler worms. The blurred background is a vermicompost bin and the wooden surface.
There are two ways you can remove worms from the harvested compost.

You will see worms in your harvested compost, and that’s okay! There are two methods you can use to extract your worms from that compost: the light method and the lure method.

The Light Method

The first is the light method. Pile the compost on a flat surface in bright light. The worms will dig their way downward, and you can gently remove compost from the sides and top of the pile, then wait for the worms to dig down again. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a batch of worm-free compost and a little ball of wiggly worms to add back to your bin.

The Lure Method

The other method is the lure method. Put your harvested compost in a small, ventilated container. Tuck some appealing food scraps into one side, like a single banana peel, and leave it overnight.

Most of the worms will gravitate to that side of the bin, and you can remove some worm-free compost, then repeat the process once more until you’ve gotten most of the worms separated from the compost. Any remaining worms, compost, and remnants of the banana peel can go back into your main bin.

Wire Mesh Bin

Close-up of a compost heap with humus in a wire mesh box, in the garden. The box is tall, wide, made of wire. Compost consists of dry leaves, debris and organic waste.
A wire mesh bin is a versatile and easy-to-build outdoor composter that keeps your pile compact and contained.

A wire mesh bin is one of the simplest bins you can create for outdoor use. This basic bin is surprisingly versatile and will help keep your compost pile compact and contained. It doesn’t take much time or money to build.

Gather Your Supplies

  • 1 roll of hardware cloth, approx. 10 feet long and 2-4 feet wide, depending on desired bin height
  • 4 wood stakes, slightly taller than the hardware cloth
  • Staple gun
  • Work gloves
  • Hammer or mallet

Prepare the Wire Mesh Compost Bin

Close up of a round wire mesh container with a single wooden stake in the center and two pieces of cloth at the top. The container is filled with brown organic matter, such as pine straw, leaves, small sticks, and soil. The container is placed on a concrete surface.
Wire mesh bins are easier to set up when you have a helper to assist you.

It’s easiest to build your bin in the place where you want it to live. Once the bin is full, it will be very difficult to move. Fortunately, it is easy to pick it up and relocate it while it is empty. A well-ventilated spot is ideal, but you don’t want the pile to dry out in harsh winds. Sun or shade is fine, but a warm sunny spot will help speed decomposition.

Visualizing your bin size before securing anything in place will help. It is easier to do this with two people. Unroll 10 feet of hardware cloth so you have access to both ends. Carefully fold back 3 to 4 inches of hardware cloth at each end in opposite directions. Ensure one end is folded over from front to back and the other end folds over from back to front.

Hook the folded ends together to make a cylindrical shape with the hardware cloth. Be careful not to poke yourself with any rough edges!

Wood stakes are the main support elements of this bin. Metal rebar woven through the hardware cloth is another great option.

Attach the wood stakes to the hardware cloth cylinder using the staple gun. The stakes should be evenly spaced every ¼ turn around the bin. Allow any extra stake length to extend along the same edge to help secure the bin to the ground. Using a hammer or mallet, pound the longer ends of the stakes into the ground for added support and stability.

The bin is now ready to accept organic matter. Food scraps and yard waste in a balanced amount are ideal.

Trash Can Compost Bin

Close-up of a black trash can bin filled with debris and leaves for composting, in a garden. The trash can bin is closed with a black lid from under which dry branches with dry green leaves stick out.
Transforming an outdoor plastic trash can into a compost bin offers mobility and adaptability.

You can make a compost bin from an outdoor plastic trash can. Any sturdy outdoor trash can with a lid will work for this project. One benefit of using an outdoor trash can is that it is highly mobile.

Using a trash can with wheels makes it easier to roll it around as needed. This project can be adapted to any large outdoor container. It doesn’t have to be a trash can, specifically.

Gather Your Supplies

  • Sturdy, lidded outdoor trash can
  • Electric drill
  • A large drill bit (like a paddle bit or spade bit)

Prepare the Trash Can Compost Bin

Close up of the underside of a round, navy, plastic container with drainage holes drilled into the bottom.
The first step after gathering materials should be to drill ventilation and drainage holes into the trash can.

In an enclosed container, aeration is especially important to encourage proper decomposition. It is important to drill several holes on all sides for air ventilation and at the bottom for drainage. You do not need to drill holes in the lid, but you can add a few for extra ventilation.

Use a large drill bit (a paddle bit is ideal) to drill multiple holes. The actual size of the drill bit doesn’t matter as long as it provides adequate ventilation. Space holes approximately every 6 inches all around the bin. Remove and dispose of plastic debris from drilling.

Place the bin in the sun or shade, in an area with ventilation or a slight breeze. A sunny warm spot will speed decomposition. The location should be convenient to access and add food or yard scraps. Locate the bin over bare ground to absorb liquids that drain from the bottom.

You can now add any combination of compostable items as long as you maintain a 2:1 ratio of brown to green materials. As we mentioned earlier, brown materials like dried leaves, straw, or shredded newspaper are carbon-rich. Green materials are fresh food scraps and garden debris rich in nitrogen.

Composting Without a Bin

Close-up of male hands in green gloves pouring a shovel full of fresh soil onto a compost heap with organic waste. The compost heap consists of leaves and debris, orange peel, banana, potato, onion, and other vegetables and fruits.
You can create compost without a bin by dedicating part of your yard to a compost pile or using a compost trench.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need any special bin to create beautiful compost. A bin helps keep your pile neat and tidy in a contained space, but you can also make a compost pile or trench. This can be an extremely quick and easy method to keep kitchen scraps out of the landfill, as long as you already have some garden space to work with.

On-Ground Compost Pile

Pile of organic materials on the ground, including citrus, leaves, egg shells, paper shreds, red bell peppers, and more. The pile is in the shade but the sun shines nearby.
Having a space in your yard for food scraps and yard waste is a simple way to compost, but comes with limitations.

Dedicate a corner of your yard or garden to the compost zone to start a compost pile. Dispose of your compostable scraps here and turn them regularly with a garden fork to help them break down faster. Aim for the 2:1 ratio of carbon to nitrogen materials. Feel free to add yard waste, such as grass clippings and shredded leaves.

Compost Trench

Long trench dug into soil with organic matter dropped into the bottom of it, including pea pods, carrot shreds, tomato halves, and more. The sun shines brightly on the trench.
A compost trench is a hands-off approach to composting at home.

To start a compost trench, dig a shallow trench in the soil about 10 to 12 inches deep along an unused garden row. Add kitchen scraps into the trench. Avoid adding meat, dairy, greasy foods, processed foods, or manure.

When the scraps are about 6 inches deep, bury them with loose soil you previously removed from the trench. Then, let the soil microbes work their magic! By the following season, you will be able to use this trench as an active planting zone with fully enriched soil. This method also does not need brown waste to work!

This is an “unofficial” method of composting that yields mixed results. It doesn’t provide the same controlled aeration environment as a compost pile but is very hands-off. This is how things break down in the wild. Just be sure the materials have plenty of time to decompose before planting crops.

Problems With Unwanted Wildlife

A small enclosed area made from gray 2 by 4 wood beams with a pile of soil and organic matter at the bottom. A large brown bear is in the pile, looking at the camera, but also digging around fro a snack.
Unwanted wildlife, such as bears, can become attracted to your outdoor compost pile and come digging around for a snack.

These open methods can attract rodents, rabbits, raccoons, and even bears. You don’t necessarily want this wildlife in your garden!

If you have problems with animals getting into your pile, consider using one of the simple bin ideas listed above. Some animals will be deterred from trenches if you bury your scraps. If animals persistently dig up your scraps, you may again be better off using a bin method to deter them.

Compost Bin Care

Close up of a person's hand holding a small shovel with a wooden handle and black metal blade. The person is using the shovel to mix food scraps and yard waste  in a large round blue plastic container with small ventilation holes drilled into the sides.
Stirring the organic material is important to promote airflow in the compost.

Occasionally check on the contents of your compost bin or pile and add a sprinkle of water if it’s dry. When the bin begins to heat up when outdoors, let it steam for a day or two, then use a pitchfork or shovel to stir and flip it around.

If the bin has a locking lid, you can clamp it shut and roll it around occasionally to stir contents. Stop adding fresh compost at least 2 months before using the matured material.

Troubleshooting a Nasty Smell

Close up of a person using their left hand to hold the side of a gray, rectangle-shaped plastic bin while their right hand holds a small shovel with a wooden handle filled with dark soil from the container.
A nasty, rotting smell can indicate some problems with your compost.

Check that your bin is relatively clean and pleasant smelling. Any slime or foul smells could indicate that the pile went anaerobic and needs more “brown” material. If the pile looks soggy and smells gross, add more brown materials and thoroughly stir it around, then wait a few more weeks. Repeat this process if the smell is still rancid and not earthy after a few weeks.

If your pile has a nasty or foul smell, this could also be an indication that something went wrong in the decomposition process. Most commonly, this is due to a lack of airflow. Your pile needs to be flipped and aerated to promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms.

Harvesting Finished Compost

Finished compost looks dark brown, fairly well-mixed, with no identifiable soft food scraps. Some food scraps will take much longer to break down than others. For example, eggshells, avocado pits and skins, and citrus rinds typically take much longer to break down than softer materials. Finished compost has a pleasant, earthy smell.

Clumps of rich-looking soil should crumble easily in your hand. It should have a fairly neutral earthy smell and should not smell rotten or sour. When it is matured or finished, it is ready to be harvested for use. Let’s take a look at how long it can take for scraps to reach this point, and how to collect the finished product.

Waiting Period

Close up of two dirty hands holding dark, moist, uniform soil with small light brown material throughout. The blurred background is grass growing outdoors.
It can take anywhere from 1 to 6 months for compost to break down enough to be used in the garden.

The waiting period for home compost varies drastically based on climate, pile size, ratios, flipping frequency, oxygenation, moisture, and materials. It can take 1 to 6 months for compost to mature from fresh food scraps to garden soil amendment.

Once you have several months’ worth of materials piled up, you can lift the bin straight up and relocate it nearby. Allow the older compost to continue to break down while you start to fill the new bin. You can also build a second bin so you always have one active bin for fresh compost and one maturation bin for older compost.

The compost is ready when the pile appears rich dark brown, and the materials have decomposed into small, soil-like particles. There should not be any large chunks of food or debris.

There’s no need to rush to use the compost. You can leave it in the bin for years if you don’t need it immediately.

Collecting the Compost

The left hand of a person holding dark, moist, and well mixed soil taken from a compost pile. The background is blurry with grass and the handle of a shovel on the ground.
Gathering the mature compost is as easy as taking it from the pile and using it right away, or storing it for later.

After 1 to 6 months, when most of the food scraps have broken down, you can incorporate this fresh compost into your garden plot. You will notice certain things that don’t break down quickly (for example, large seeds and pits, avocado skins, egg shells, and those little plastic stickers from banana peels), but otherwise, mature compost should have a fairly uniform look to it.

The easiest way to collect your compost may be to scoop it with a shovel and put it into a wheelbarrow, garden wagon, large pot, handled bin, or sturdy gardening bag for easy transport to the garden. If using a smaller bin, tilt the bin sideways to empty it into a pile for use, or remove smaller amounts with a spade, rake, or hoe.

How to Use Compost

Close-up of male hands in white gloves mixing compost with black soil in a sunny garden. The soil and compost are loose in texture, dark brown in color and contain organic matter.
Mature compost is dark brown, well-mixed, and free of identifiable food scraps, with a uniform appearance.

When your pile is finished, the rich organic material is ready for use in your garden. This is a great addition to any outdoor garden, raised bed, or container. You can even mix in small amounts of vermicompost with potting soil and use it with indoor potted plants. You can use it as a nutrient-rich additive to enrich any garden soil and boost plant growth.

It’s usually better to mix compost with other soils rather than use it by itself. Consider it a valuable soil amendment. Work 1 or 2 inches into the top layer of soil when planting new crops.

During mid-season, you can work another 1 or 2 inches of compost into the soil around your vegetable plants for an extra dose of nutrition. You can essentially add compost any time around garden vegetable plants, flowers, shrubs, and fruit trees.

General Composting Tips

Close-up of watering compost from a black watering can in a large compost bin outdoors. Compost contains the organic remains of eggshells, vegetables and fruits such as watermelon, tomatoes, pears, carrots, as well as various herbs and plants collected from the garden mixed with soil.
Ensure faster decomposition by keeping the compost moist.

Compost is simple to make and use. Once you understand the basic process of how to make excellent compost, you will be better prepared to start making your own. Here are some general tips to ensure you get the most benefit from your composting experience.

  • Shred, chop, or crush items before adding them to your bin so they break down more quickly.
  • Compost breaks down faster in warm weather.
  • To speed up decomposition, keep your compost slightly moist, like a damp sponge.
  • Sprinkle some water on your compost periodically if it dries out.
  • Completely dry compost is extremely slow to break down.
  • Mix brown and green materials together, such as dry leaves and fresh kitchen scraps.
  • Maintain good air circulation.
  • A larger compost pile breaks down organic matter faster than a small pile because it generates more heat.
  • Use a bin or fine wire mesh to keep rodents out.
  • Periodic mixing or rotation of your pile will speed decomposition.

Final Thoughts

This is a great way to turn your kitchen scraps into valuable garden fertilizer. In just a few simple steps, you can create your own compost bin and convert organic waste into something useful.

It does take a bit of patience, but it is well worth it when you see the boost in plant growth. Once you create your system, compost is free and well worth the effort. You don’t need fancy equipment to begin, so what are you waiting for?

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