compost basics

Plant Moderator

No yard? No matter! You don’t need a lot of space to start your own compost heap, but you can make your garden greener and more sustainable easily with a small compost bin.  


find a bin

Compost bins come in so many shapes and sizes, with some made specifically for small spaces. You can make your own compost bin to suit your space out of plastic storage bins, wood pallets or garbage cans.  


add green and brown

You’ll need to add lots of organic food waste (like fruit & vegetable peelings, and coffee grounds). This is considered green waste is rich in nitrogen. Then you can add in items like dead leaves and plants, even hay. This is considered brown waste and is rich in carbon. But before you add in any of this, be sure to create a layer of woody garden debris. This builds good airflow and is a great base layer. Next, you can layer in your green and brown waste.  


think outside of green and brown waste

You can add egg shells, paper bags, cotton clothing, and paper towel/toilet paper rolls in your compost. Make sure not to include cooked food in your compost though! This could attract unwanted pests like rats or mice.  


add water

If your compost seems really dry, you can add some water to help it break down faster. A good compost pile should be damp, but not soaking wet. You can use a lid on your bin to help retain moisture.  


add air

Make sure you’re regularly turning your compost, with a shovel of course. Make sure your bin allows air to circulate. If there isn’t adequate airflow, your compost can get a slimy appearance. This means it’s become anaerobic. 

Use compost to help your soil retain more water and fertilize your lawn. Making your own compost is one big (and easy) way to make your garden more organic! Got tips? Share with the community in Plant Chat!  

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