Composting

Today I am going to explain Composting. I started composting this year. When doing research on composting, I was a little overwhelmed, especially with all the ads about the fancy compost bins and such. However, when looking at the very base level, composting is very easy and inexpensive (or even free)!

I started composting mid April. I, personally, wasn’t a fan of the yard pile compost, so I purchased two heavy duty storage tubs. My wonderful husband drilled holes all over each tub. Then we put them outside on our side patio. We started putting everything green and brown in there, and very soon after, soil was beginning to form! I was delighted! I also keep an old pitcher on the counter for scraps. When the pitcher is full, I dump the contents in the large compost outside. This just keeps me from running outside after every meal.

Now let me explain what I mean by green and brown. What you put in your compost is important. In order for products to compost, they need 5 things: green, brown, moisture (water), air circulation, and heat.

Green Items:

– Fruits and veggies

– Grass clippings

– Tea and tea bags

– Green leaves

– Freshwater fish tank water

– Flower bouquets

– Coffee grounds

– Coffee filters

Brown Items:

– Sawdust

– Dead leaves

– Animal droppings (only herbivores ie. chickens, Guinea Pigs)

– Hair (pet hair too)

– Dirt- Newspaper

– Eggshells

– Paper bags

– Cardboard egg cartons

DO NOT COMPOST:

– Bread

– Meats

– Oils

– Cheese

– Bones

– Weeds

– Anything that has gone to seed

– Leftovers

– Take out containers

– Animal droppings (carnivores and omnivores ie. dogs and cats)

Everything should be added in pretty equal amounts. Make sure you don’t add too much green or too much brown, as this can disrupt the composting process and lead to poor quality soil. The compost should always be moist, not soaking wet. This helps everything mix and mingle. The compost pile should be located where it will get some sunlight, but not full sun. I put my bins on my side patio which is between two houses, so it gets heat but only a few hours of sun each day. Make sure that your bin has openings to allow air to flow. You don’t want your compost to get too hot. This also allows smells to flow, cause believe me, it’ll get smelly!

Examples of Compost Bins/Piles:

– DIY Storage tub

– DIY Trash can

– DIY Wooden pallet box

– Store bought Compost Tumbler

– Store bought bin

– Counter Top Compost Tin

– DIY fence cage

– Milk crates

I highly recommend starting some type of composting system. It doesn’t have to be huge or expensive. This is a simple method to use waste products. Instead of waste going to a landfill, your waste will become healthy, nutrient rich soil for use in gardens or indoor plants! Give it a try!

As always, please feel free to comment or ask questions. You can also email me at myurbanhomestead.stl@gmail.com!

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