Whether you’re looking for the perfect garden fertilizer, or you’re just tired of so much trash, compost is an awesome way to help the ecosystem. If you’re looking to do it yourself, you’ve come to the right place. All the information you need on how you can start composting is here. The best part? Composting is very easy to begin.

What Composting Is:
Composting involves a breakdown of organic materials which are used in their decomposed state. Because compost benefits plants, fruit and vegetable scraps are mainly used in the process of composting.
When the organic scraps are put together at a certain temperature, they will break down into the nutrients that make them up, providing a substance rich in nutrients and minerals like nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, and potassium. The process of decomposition takes weeks, so start about a year before you’ll need it. Compost also keeps plants’ roots cool, preventing overheating, and helps balance out a garden’s miniature ecosystem.

Materials:
Countertop Bin: A small covered bin is useful to keep in your kitchen. Whenever you’re using vegetables or fruit, you’ll have a place to put your compostable leftovers. A charcoal filter on the lid helps keep smells down. When the small container gets full, simply dump it into your larger bin outside.

Outdoor Bin: You’ll need a medium or large container to put your scraps in. A plastic garbage can with a lid works well. A plastic or metal bin is best, for heat retention, and because you’re going to drill holes for ventilation. Ready-made compost bins are available too. They’re more expensive, but are convenient if you want to skip making your own. Cinder Blocks: You’ll need a way to keep your compost bin off the ground, because you don’t want uneven decomposition at the bottom.

A Pitchfork: You’re compost needs to be turned about every week, so a sturdy pitchfork is a must.

How To Make A Compost Bin:
Using a large drill bit that will go through your plastic or metal bin, drill ventilation holes about an inch in diameter. Space them less than a foot away from each other in the sides, lid, and bottom to provide adequate air flow. Make sure the inside of the bin is clean and dry. Position your compost bin on top of some cinder blocks, in a spot outdoors where the sun shines for most the day.

What To Use:
From citrus peels to cucumber skins, if you take it off of your fruits or veggies, it should go in your compost pile. However, moldy or spoiling food should stay out of the bin. While compost is a decomposition process, mold has no place in the compost bin. Your compost pile should be hot enough to kill it. Coffee grounds are a helpful supplement. Rich in https://oldworldgardenfarms.com/2015/05/03/planting-the-garden-why-coffee-grounds-and-egg-shells-are-a-gardeners-best-friend/ nitrogen and beneficial for aeration, coffee and tea leftovers are commonly thrown away, but can have a positive impact in the garden. Eggshells are rich in carbon, and are perfect for compost. Dry them in a container, then pulverize them using a blender. Similarly, cut up fruit and vegetable scraps. The smaller your compost materials, the better they break down.  A layer of grass clippings or autumn leaves decompose quickly, and keep compost insulated.

Compost Care:
For even decomposition, your compost has to be kept warm and moved around. Either use a pitchfork about every other day to stir your compost, or roll the bin around the yard. The latter works well for trashcans turned compost bins; just secure the lid and move it around the yard. Eventually, your compost will begin to turn dark and break down. If you continue adding materials and keep the bin properly ventilated and stirred, your compost should decompose at a steady rate. Compost bins can overwinter, although you’ll still have to mix it every now and then. Stop adding raw materials about a month or so before you plan to use it.

By spring or summer the following year, your compost should be ready to use. Work your compost into the soil to make your garden beds rich in nutrients and more productive than ever.