Composting for Dummies: Start Simple

Composting for dummies

Composting can be one of the most rewarding gardening tasks. Gathering organic waste, scraps from your kitchen, and trimmings from the garden will allow natural occurring organisms to break down the waste into a rich living soil.

Starting Your Composting Bin

There are a wide range of compost bins on the market, but this does not mean you need to spend money in order to accomplish your goal. You can build a simple wooden enclosure typically measuring 2-3 foot tall, and 2-3 foot wide. Place a layer of chicken wire at the base of your bin. By adding the chicken wire to the base of your bin, this will reduce chances of pests burrowing up from the bottom. Mice, and other rodents are especially found of compost due to the odor that it puts off.

Items to Add to Your Compost

Here is a list of the most common items to add to your compost bin:

  • Ripped up cardboard
  • Grass clippings
  • Dead leaves
  • Crushed up egg shells
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps including the the rinds
  • Pruning’s from your garden plants
  • Used tea bags

Adding these items to your compost bin will provide ample amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to your soil. Please be advised that if you decide to add fruit rinds to your compost bin, make sure to break the rinds into small pieces. By breaking the rinds into smaller pieces it allows for faster decomposition of the materials. Worms are not found of the acidic nature of some fruit rinds.

Items you should NEVER add to your compost bin

  • Left over meat products
  • Bones
  • Dairy products
  • Fat
  • Animal waste products

The items listed above will attract unwanted animal pests to your compost bin. The most common pests that you need to look out for are:

  • Mice
  • Rat
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Coyote
  • Fox
  • Raccoon
  • Badger

Now that you have the very basics of starting your very own compost bin, we implore you to get out there and start one today! In our next installment of composting we will discuss daily tasks in maintaining your compost bin, along with tips on how to create the very best atmosphere for your living soil.


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