How To Start Composting

How to Start Composting (Part 1) So easy, even I can do it. How to
How to Start Composting (Part 1) So easy, even I can do it. How to from

Composting is a natural process that converts organic waste into nutrient-rich soil. It not only helps reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions but also improves soil quality and promotes sustainable gardening. If you’re interested in starting composting but don’t know where to begin, this article will guide you through the process.

Benefits of Composting

Before we dive into the process of composting, it’s important to understand why it’s beneficial. Here are some key benefits:

  • Reduces waste: Composting diverts organic waste such as food scraps and yard trimmings from landfills, where they would otherwise produce harmful greenhouse gases.
  • Improves soil quality: Compost enriches soil by adding essential nutrients, improving its structure, and enhancing its ability to retain water.
  • Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers: By using compost, you can minimize the use of synthetic fertilizers, which can harm the environment.
  • Supports sustainable gardening: Compost provides a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to chemical-based gardening practices.

Step-by-Step Guide to Composting

1. Choose a Composting Method

There are several methods of composting, ranging from simple to more complex. Choose the one that suits your needs:

  • Backyard composting: This method involves creating a compost pile or using a compost bin in your backyard. It requires a balance of “green” (nitrogen-rich) and “brown” (carbon-rich) materials, regular turning or mixing, and monitoring moisture levels.
  • Vermicomposting: Vermicomposting uses worms to break down organic waste. It is particularly suitable for those with limited space, such as apartment dwellers. Special worm bins are used to house the worms and process the waste.
  • Trench composting: This method involves digging a trench in your garden and burying organic waste directly into the ground. Over time, the waste breaks down and enriches the soil.

2. Collect Organic Waste

Collecting organic waste is a crucial step in the composting process. Here are some examples of what you can compost:

  • Vegetable and fruit scraps
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Eggshells
  • Yard trimmings
  • Leaves
  • Shredded paper

Avoid composting meat, dairy products, oily foods, and pet waste, as they can attract pests or introduce harmful bacteria into your compost pile.

3. Create the Compost Pile

If you choose backyard composting, find a suitable location for your compost pile or bin. Ensure it is easily accessible and receives adequate sunlight. Start by layering “brown” and “green” materials in equal proportions. Browns provide carbon, while greens provide nitrogen.

Here’s a simple recipe to follow:

  • Add a layer of twigs or straw at the bottom to improve airflow.
  • Alternate layers of brown and green materials, ensuring the pile is moist but not soaking wet.
  • Turn or mix the pile regularly to provide oxygen and speed up the decomposition process.
  • Monitor the moisture levels and add water if the pile becomes too dry.

4. Maintain the Compost

Composting is an ongoing process that requires attention and care. Here are some tips to maintain your compost:

  • Avoid adding large chunks of material that may take longer to decompose.
  • Chop or shred larger items to accelerate the decomposition process.
  • Regularly turn or mix the compost to ensure proper aeration.
  • Monitor the temperature of the compost pile. It should ideally reach temperatures between 135°F and 160°F (57°C to 71°C) to kill weed seeds and pathogens.
  • Keep the compost pile moist but not overly wet. Add water if necessary.

5. Harvest and Use the Compost

After several months, the organic waste will break down into dark, crumbly compost. It should have an earthy smell and no recognizable materials. Harvest the compost by removing the finished material from the bottom of the pile.

Use the compost in your garden to improve soil quality, boost plant growth, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. Spread a layer of compost on your flower beds, vegetable gardens, or potted plants. You can also mix it with potting soil for indoor plants or use it to make compost tea for a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer.


Starting composting is a simple and rewarding way to reduce waste, improve soil quality, and support sustainable gardening. Choose a composting method that suits your needs, collect organic waste, create a compost pile, and maintain it by regularly turning and monitoring moisture levels. Harvest the finished compost and use it to nourish your plants. By composting, you’ll contribute to a healthier environment and create nutrient-rich soil for a flourishing garden.

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